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" Compell'd to wed, because she was my ward, 
Her soul was absent when she gave her hand." 





;t. c. newby, publisher, 
30, welbeck street, cavendish square. 






A hundred knights, with Palamon there came, 
Approv'd in sight, and men of mighty nanie ; 
Their arms were sev'ral, as their nations were, 
But furnish'd all alike with sword and spear. 
Some wore coat-armour imitating scale, 
And next their skins were stubborn shirts of mail ; 
Some wore a breast plate and a light jappon. 
Their horses cloth'd with rich caparison. 

This on his helmet wore a lady's glore. 
And that a sleeve embroider'd by his love. 

Palamon and Arcite. — Drydkn. 

Several circumstances occurred at this period 
to awaken a secret uneasiness in the mind of 
Isabelle. She could not help observing that 




the attentions of De Cressy had become more 
marked, more empresst since the appearance of 
De Montfort in Paris. As a friend, she had 
often found the services of De Cressy invalu- 
able. She liked him too, for his agreeable 
manners, and apparent amiability of disposi- 
tion, and deeply regretted the discovery she 
feared she had made of his sentiments towards 

her, both on her own account and on his 

On her own, because she should be necessitated 
to keep at a distance a man for whom she felt 
a sincere regard — and for his sake, because it 
pained her to think that he should involve 
himself in all the unhappiness of a hopeless 

This conjecture arose more from an intuitive 
perception that there was something different, 
though hardly to be defined, in De Cressy's 
manner towards her of late, than from any 
word or look to which she could make the 
slightest exception. Perhaps she was too clear 
sighted — perhaps it was only the carelessness 


of De Montfort, that thus enhanced and drew 
forth the attentions of the friend. She thought 
it might be so, but nevertheless, she took her- 
self severely to task with respect to the nature 
of her own sentiments towards De Cressy, and 
soon discovered, that even were she free to 
choose, he was not the man who could ever 
have made a serious impression upon her heart, 
and perhaps it was this latent consciousness 
that had made her so long blind to the danger 
of so great an intimacy with him. 

The man, who could have now touched the 
not easily awakened chord of Isabelle's love, 
whatever might have been her feelings at the 
romantic age of fifteen, must have had an 
energy and depth of character, which the gay, 
good-tempered De Cressy did not possess — he 
must be one to whom she could look up with 
pride, and feel that others looked up to 
likewise. In reality, genius and talent were 
the idols of Isabelle, and she would much 
sooner have fallen in love with Corneille, now 

B 2 


about sixty-four years of age, than with the 
handsome De Cressy, at eight-and-twenty. 
But love had been so long excluded from all 
her calculations of happiness, that she almost 
felt it wrong thus to analyze the sentiments of 
her heart — but this done, she was satisfied on 
the score of its freedom. 

Isabelle endeavoured, too, to flatter herself, 
that the continual presence of De Montfort 
could have no influence on her actions — he 
was as indifferent to her as she was to him — 
it was impossible that a thought of him could 
actuate her in the slightest degree. Yet, in 
spite of herself, the presence of De Montfor 
did influence Isabelle, in a way she was not 
aware of, and perhaps, if it had not done so, 
she would have appeared to greater advantage 
in his eyes ; at least, she would have spared him 
some of the jealous pangs, which often pierced 
his bosom when he appeared to be perfectly 
unmindful of her. But this feeling which she 
experienced — this wish, so natural in her 


position, to shew that her indifference was 
equal to what she considered to be his — made 
her always endeavour to exhibit a gaiety and 
flow of spirits in company, which, while they 
enhanced her beauty and wit in the eyes of a 
world that had often before complained of th^ 
coldness and disregard with which its incense 
had been received, began to disturb the im- 
pression which her artlessness of manner had 
at first made on De Montfort ; and led him to 
consider, if it was indeed natural, or only a 
more refined species of tjoquetry. Neverthe- 
less, he could not fix upon any one as an object, 
whose attentions Isabelle seemed particularly 
desirous to obtain. From the Duke de Coaslin, 
he perceived that she always drew back with un- 
t affected dislike ; and although he suspected that 
De Cressy liked her, there was nothing in her 
unconstrained manner towards him as yet, that 
could decidedly point his suspicions to him. 

Isabelle herself, notwithstanding her apparent 
gaiety, was in reality neither so happy nor so 


light hearted, as she had been before the arrival 
of De Montfort at Paris. In spite of her most 
strenuous endeavours towards the possession 
of a perfect unconcern about him, and the im- 
patience with which she strove against a thought 
of her ever attracting his love, with all that self 
deception which we often practice on ourselves, 
in deprecating that, for which in the depths of 
our heart, we have a secret and hidden desire, 
the slightest mark of attention or observation 
from De Montfort, awoke aflutter in her bosom 
which she vainly attempted to still, while fright- 
ened at this tumult which a softer expression 
of his eye as he bowed to her, or a half sigh 
and a look of absorbed interest which she once 
detected in him, when she sung, occasioned, 
her pride would immediately take the alarm, 
and feigning to be occupied with any thing 
and every one but him, she would ward off 
every softening feeling towards him, that dared 
to insinuate itself into her heart. 

Thus, though each was constantly occupied 


with thoughts of the other, not the shghtest 
advancement was made in any interchange of 
words or sentiments between them, beyond the 
coldest courtesy, since they had first met. 

The early part of the year had seen the ar- 
rival of De Montfort in Paris. It was now 
the beginning of May, and preparations were 
being made for a grand entertainment at the 
palace of Versailles, whither all the court ad- 
journed on the fifth of the month. 

The lovely glades and bowers of Versailles 
did not tend to increase the composure of 

The scene that occurred there, shortly before 
her marriage, rose vividly to her mind's eye. 
She saw again the haughty air of De Montfort, 
when he was introduced to her by the king. — 
Again those words rung in her ear — " I would 
prefer banishment from coart — aye, death itself, 
to this hated union,'^ — then, she heard De 
Cressy's deprecating answer, and De Mont- 
fort's contemptuous reply. 


Thus she mused, seated upon a bench in one 
of the shady alleys, which she had sought soon 
after her arrival there. But little time was 
allowed her for thc^se meditations. In an hour 
an animated scene vvas to be enacted in another 
part of the gardens, and Isabelle was sought 
for by her companions and hurried away to join 
the queen. 

And now, when the cool breezes of evening 
swept through the gardens, all hastened to the 
borders of a lake, in the midst of which, on an 
island, appeared the far famed palace of 
the fairy Alcina. Many good knights and 
true, the king being amongst them, were sup- 
posed to be under the power of her enchant- 
ments — ready to do her service —the willing 
victims of her art, being spell-bound and fas- 
cinated by the pleasures with which she had 
surrounded them ; and here at this hour, were 
to pass in review before her, those whom she 
had selected to do her honour in the tourna- 
ment which was about to take place. 


It was a spot that well assimilated with 
Ariosto's beautiful description — 

Vaghi boschetti di soavi allori, 
Di palme e di amenisseme mortelle 
Cedri, ed aranci ch'arean frutti, e fiori 
Contesti in varie forme, e tutte belle, 
Facean repari ai fervidi calori 
De' giorni estivi con lor spesse ombrelle ; 
E tra quel rami con sicuri voli ^ 

Contando se ne giano i rosignuoli. 

All the court being assembled, there entered 
into the lists at six o'clock in the evening, a 
herald at arms, in a habit couleur de feu, with 
embroideries in silver, after an antique fashion, 
and mounted on a noble charger — then ap- 
peared Monsieur d'Artagnan, the king's page, 
richly dressed in his majesty's livery of flame 
colour, and bearing the king's lance and shield, 
on which shone a sun, formed of precious 
stones, with these words, nee cesso nee erro, 
inscribed in letters of gold. 

The pages of the Dukes de Saint Aignan, 
and de Noailles, the first Marechal de Camp, 

B 3 


and the other Juge de Courses, followed, ac- 
coutred in the livery, and bearing the devices 
of their lords. Trumpeters and tymbaliers 
rode after the pages, attired in flame colour and 
silver, their plumes of the same hue, and their 
horses caparisoned with embroidered housings 
to match, while golden suns glittered on their 
tymbals and the bannerols of their trumpets. 

Then came the Duke de St. Aignan, repre- 
senting the intractable Guido— armed as an 
ancient Greek warrior. He wore a cuirass of 
silver tissue, covered with golden scales ; his 
helmet was ornamented with a dragon, over 
which hung a profusion of white plumes mixed 
with scarlet and black, and his snow white 
charger was similarly caparisoned. 

Banderolles were again seen flying, and the 
martial music of trumpets, tymbals and various 
other instruments, ushered into the lists the 
great Louis himself, under the guise of Ruggiero. 
His majesty was likewise armed as a Greek. 
His cuirass of plates of silver was covered 


with a rich embroidery of gold, studded with 
diamonds, and plumes of flame colour nodded 
gracefully over his helmet. All the jewels of 
the crown glittered upon his dress, or sparkled 
amidst the gold and silver which adorned the 
flame coloured trappings of his high mettled 
steed, who proudly advancing, seemed scarcely 
to touch the ground. 

Vain would be the attempt to describe the 
splendid accoutrements of the various knights 
who followed. Suffice it to say, that the flower 
of the French nobility appeared under the 
semblance of the noble paladins, subjugated 
by the arts of the beautiful enchantress, all 
in suitable costume and equipments, while upon 
the shield of each one, borne by his squire, 
were emblazoned in characters of gold, verses 
descriptive of his assumed title and character. 

There were to be found the Dukes de Guise, 
De Foix, De Coaslin, the Marquises de Ville- 
quier, and De Soyecourt, the Prince de Mar- 
sillac, and many other distinguished names. 


too numerous to mention ; but amongst them 
all, none were more conspicuous, whether for 
grace and dexterity in feats of arms, or for 
bravery of apparel, than were the Marquis de 
Cressy, and the Baron de Montfort. 

The marquis, as Griffon the Fair, was arrayed 
in cloth of silver, adorned with rubies, the 
harness and equipage of his white steed being 
after the same fashion, while De Montfort, in 
the character of the dark Aquilant, was ac- 
coutred in black, embroidered in gold and jet, 
with plumes, horse and lance, in accordance 
with his dress. 

And now Alcina, more beautiful than all her 
attendant nymphs, 

" Se come e bello il sol piti d'ogni Stella," 

summoned up by her magic spells the various 
pageants she had prepared, still further to 
enthral those captive knights. 

Apollo, in honour of whom the Pythian games 
were used to be celebrated, appeared in his 
chariot ot dazzling light, to animate the knights 


by his presence. At his feet were the four 
ages of gold, silver, brass and iron, distinguished 
by their appropriate emblems, and old Time, 
with his scythe and wings, managed the fiery 
steeds which drew this golden car, round which 
were assembled the hours, and the celestial 
signs, arrayed in all the charms with which the 
poets have depicted them ; and, as those pala- 
dins and pageants moved along in fair array, 
shepherds erected the barriers, to the sound of 
martial music. 

Soon the knights took their places in the 
lists, and commenced the favourite sport of 
running at the ring, in which none surpassed 
the king in skill and address. Bright eyes 
watched eagerly the progress of those sports, 
and among the beauties of the court many a 
heart throbbed with delight as its owner re- 
cognised her colours worn by one or other of 
the knights. Isabelle alone looked on with 
dismay, for she saw that De Cressy had adop- 


ted her colours, thus publicly avowing his de- 
votion to her. 

After all the knights had been thus engaged 
for some time, they were obliged to succumb 
to three, who, pre-eminent above the others, 
remained to dispute the prize. They were the 
Marquis de la Valliere representing Zerhino, 
De Montfortj and De Cressy. 

Isabelle looked on intently, and felt an unac- 
countable joy when De Montfort as victor, re- 
ceived from the hand of the queen mother, the 
golden sword enriched with diamonds, having 
baldric and buckles of great value to match, 
being the prize which he had won. 

Night being now come, the magic wand of 
A Icin a conjured up a thousand flambeaux which 
illuminated this delicious spot. Pan, with the 
sylvan deities, the fauns and dryads came from 
their deep retirements to offer the most delicate 
fruits and the most intoxicating beverages — the 
goddess Diana hastens with the spoils of the 
chase to add her offerings to the banquet, and 


spring, summer, autumn and winter, brought 
the treasures of their respective seasons, and 
amidst flowers and foliage, the music of faUing 
waters and the songs of nightingales, in the 
perfume of the night air and beneath the starry 
canopy of the heavens, did the enchantress 
prepare her seductive feast. 

The knights still continuing captives in the 
enchanted island, Alcina conjured up on the 
night of the second day nev^ amusements to 
render them unconscious of the bonds by 
which they were fettered, and displaying before 
their eyes the beautiful plains of Greece, fas- 
cinated them with the representation of the 
Princesse D'Elide, written by Moliere for the 

Already she began to fear for the stability of 
her power, and trembling lest so many paladins 
should grow weary of inactivity, prepared by 
powerful spells to defend her territory. 

When the night of the third day arrived, the 
spectators perceived that her island, 


" Dove il piCi bel palazzo e'l piii giocondo 
Vider, che mai fosse reduto al mondo," 

was defended by four huge giants aided by as 

many mis-shapen looking dwarfs, while on the 

bosom of the mirror-like lake, Alcina herself 

with two of her attendant nymphs, each one 

borne by a marine monster, poured forth such 

melting cadences of song, as Orpheus and the 

Sirens of old would have vainly tried to surpass. 

Soon however the enchantress felt presenti- 
ments of her approaching destruction, and, 
abandoning the lake, doubled the guards 
around her palace. Summoning up the powers 
of darkness to assist her, she raised the tower, 
so high that they seemed to touch the heavens, 
and surrounded them with fiends and demons 
in shapes and forms never seen before. 

Six knights, long time imprisoned within the 
palace, now made a desperate sortie, but, over- 
whelmed by the demons and monsters, were 
again forced within its walls. The hopes of 
Alcina begin to revive, when the fairy Me- 
lissa appears under the form of Atalanta — 


" Con quella grave, e venerabil faccia, 
Che Ruggier sempre reverir solea, " 

and approaches Ruggiero (the King) who with 
some of the other paladins were wandering at 
large on the island. Quick as thought Alcina 
prepares to defeat her purpose, but MeUssa has 
already placed on the finger of this brave 
paladin, the wonderful ring which has the 
power of destroying all enchantments — the 
sorceress no longer appears young and fair — 
the ' misto color di rose, e di ligustri' was gone 

" Pallido, crespo e macileiite uvea 
Alcina il viso, il crin raro e canuto : 
Sua statura a sei palmi non giungea ; 
Ogni dente di bocca era caduto ;" 

and now the thunder rolls, the lightning flashes, 
volumes of fire shoot up to heaven — the superb 
palace of Alcina with the wicked eiichautress 
are reduced to ashes — the heavens, the earth, the 
waters seem all to be on fire — globes of fire issue 
from the lake—falling stars are quenched in its 
bosom — prodigies and wondrous miracles fol- 
low the achievement which the King has 



wrought in delivering himself and his com- 
panions from their seductive confinement on the 
island of the enchantress — brilliant illumina- 
tions conclude the entertainment, and the 
pleasures of the enchanted isle are at an end. 



" The trumpets sound, 
And warlike symphony is heard around/ 
The marching troops through Athens take their way, 
The great earl-martial orders their array. 
The fair from high the passing pomp behold, 
A rain of flowers is from the window roll'd, 
The casements are with golden tissue spread, 
And horses' hoofs, for earth, on silken tapestry tread ; 
The king goes midmost, and the rivals ride, 
In equal rank, and close his either side." 

Palamon and Arcite. — Dryden. 

This beautiful fairy drama, which lasted three 
days, being finished, jousts and tournaments 
followed an entertainment never equalled in the 
annals of any court, for the splendour of its 


pageants, and the high rank of the actors who 
figured in them, as well as for the genius and 
talent that were united to produce them, the 
seducing harmony of LuUy, the dramatic 
powers of Moliere, the surprising conceptions 
and magnificent decorations of the machinist 
Vigarini, and the ingenious art with which 
Benserade and the President Perigny united 
the eulogiums of the knights of Ariosto, who 
appeared on the Enchanted Isle, with those of 
the real actors in that drama — all combined to 
form a reality, unequalled by any thing which 
the most vivid and romantic imagination could 

Assembled on the fourth day, upon a gilded 
iron balustrade which surrounded the Palace of 
Versailles, and which overlooked the fosse 
where the lists and barriers were raised, each 
lady eagerly prepared to watch the prowess of 
her favourite chevalier. The king, accompanied 
by the same knights whom he had released 
from ' durance vile,' and with whom he had 


eiijoyed the diversion of running at the ring, 
soon appeared within the lists, the Duke de 
Saint Aginan and the Marechal de Noailes 
still remaining marshal and judge of the field. 

The sport now fixed upon was that of coun^e 
les tetes, which had lately been introduced from 
Germany. It shewed off the skill of a knight 
in the management of his horse in all the pas- 
sades de guerre, and likewise in the exercise of 
the lance, the spear, and the sword. 

Louis entered the lists first, followed by his 
knights in single file, each one arrayed in the 
same equipments, and his horse caparisoned, as 
on the preceding days, with lance in hand, and 
a dart under the right thigh. 

The monarch and the first six knights had 
various success, some carrying ofi" one or two 
heads, some three, but no one succeeded in 
bearing off every head until it came to the turn 
of the Baron de Montfort, who followed seventh 
knight in the line after the king. 

He had well skilled himself in all the passes 


during his visit to Count Herman, and now 
outshone every rival in the dexterity and grace 
with which he managed his horse and threw 
the dart. Carrying the Turk's head with ease, 
he threw his lance to a page, and making a 
demi volte, put his horse at full speed, and 
pierced, in passing, the Moor's head with his 
dart, then taking a javelin, he threw it with an 
unerring aim at a buckler, on which was re- 
presented the head of a Medusa, and finishing 
his demi volte, still riding at full speed, bore 
away the fourth head on the point of his sword, 
when every voice unanimously pronounced De 
Montfort to be the victor. 

Several other tilts and jousts ensued, but 
notwithstanding the skill of many noble knights, 
De Cressy amongst them, the Baron de Mont- 
fort bore away a diamond rose of great price, 
which Marie Therese bestowed on him with 
her own fair hand. 

Various were the amusements wiiich the Idng 
and queen partook of with the lords and ladies 


of the court, on each afternoon of the succeed- 
ing three days, which concluded the week 
allotted to this briUiant festival. 

On one evening was represented the comedy 
of the Facheux by Moliere ; on another, the 
king conducted the queen and all the ladies of 
the court into an apartment, where had been 
prepared by his orders a lottery tilled with the 
choicest works of art, and the most beautiful 
specimens of jewelry, and entertained himself 
with observing how/a^e distributed his gifts to 
the fair expectants. 

This day likewise the Due de St. Aignan as 
Guido, and the Marquis de Soyecourt as 
Oliviere, challenged each other to single combat, 
and appeared in the lists armed from head to 
foot, the king himself read aloud the order of 
the tilts and jousts, and, after a close contest, de 
Soyecourt was pronounced the victor. 

Many other trials of skill ensued, and on 
the following day was another grand tourna- 
ment between Louis and all his knights, while 


the evening concluded with a splendid ball. 
De Montfort signalized himself on this day as 
before, and bore off many of the prizes, but as 
if satisfied with his achievements on the field, 
he remained an inactive spectator of the ball 
without mingling in the dance. 

Notwithstanding his determination of trying .[] 

to dispel the coldness that existed between him- 
self and Isabelle, and of endeavouring to win 
her forgiveness, every effort lie made to that 
effect, seemed to him, only to widen the im- 
passable gulf, and to deepen the abyss that ex- 
isted between them. 

Ever before him — ever near him, since the 
court had arrived at Versailles, this proximity 
while it heightened his passion and made him 
more fully aware of all her brilliant attractions 
and accomplishments, did but place before his 
eyes more fully, the obstacles that stood be- 
tween him and the accomplishment of hia 
wishes, while, as his passion increased self re- 
proach, wounded pride, diffidence and distrust 


of his own ability ever to conciliate her, ren- 
dered him in her eyes as cold and as indif- 
ferent as ever. 

" My dear Isabelle,'^ said the lively Madame 
de Brancas to her on one of the days of the 
tournament, " were I in your place, how I 
would torment that superb De Montfort ; I 
know it is true, that you cannot endure him, 
but still young and lovely as you are, to have 
so careless a husband ! but you are so prudish, 
you keep the men at such a distance. Ah ! 
were De Montfort my husband, I would make 
him afraid of Louis himself, or at least of the 
Duke de Coaslin. But Madame de Brancas 
did not attempt to renew her advice, for 
Isabelle had heard her with so chilling an air, 
and had turned away with such haughty dis- 
pleasure, that she did not dare revert to the 
theme again. 

And now Isabelle moved gracefully, and to 
all appearance, gaily in the dance with De 

VOL II. c 



On entering the ball room, she had secretly 
wished some one else might be her partner. 

Her suspicions of his attachment to her, 
had become almost a certainty. At this tour- 
nament he had singled her out as the object of 
all his attention and devotion, and she dreaded 
to hear from his lips a disclosure of a love 
which even if she were free, she could never 
return, nevertheless when she saw the Duke de 
Coaslin, whom she detested, approaching her, 
with the intent to engage her for the dance, she 
felt grateful to De Cressy for hastening forward 
to her relief, and anticipating the duke before 
he had time to speak, by requesting the honour 
of her hand, and she received him with her 
usual sweet smile. 

De Montfort was not far off — he had seen 
with displeasure, the colours that De Cressy 
had adopted at the tournament, and now a fear 
that the sentiments which his jealous observation 
had long since detected, might be reciprocated 
by Isabelle, pierced him to the heart. Perhaps 


had he known what was passing in the mind 
of Isabelle, and how much he himself occupied 
her thoughts at the very time she was dancing 
and talking with De Cressy, he would not have 
felt this. 

Isabelle would have given a great deal to be 
able to discover what De Montfort was musing 
about, as he stood thoughtfully leaning against 
a pillar, apparently absorbed in his own 
meditations. She had seen him, as she eagerly 
watched his prowess, from the balcony where 
she sat beside the Queen, all animation and fire 
in the lists, during the progress of the tour- 
nament. But that sport over, he appeared to 
have assumed a new character and unmindful 
of the attractions around him, to wrap himself 
up in a sombre silence, and a thought flashed 
across her mind — a wish to know if she was 
still Isabelle de Valcour, and he as heart whole 
as he appeared to be now, and if no influence 
had ever been used in order to direct his atten- 
tions towards her, would it have been im- 

c 2 



possible, had she tried to do so, to captivate his 
proud heart ; and though she repelled this idea 
over and over again, ever as she passed him in 
the dance it presented itself to her fancy. 

The ball was nearly concluded — on the 
morrow the court were to remove to St. Cloud, 
but Isabelle was not destined to lay her head 
on her pillow this night without first ex- 
periencing sensations nearly allied to conster- 
nation and terror. 

De Cressy had led her to a seat, and had 
turned to address an acquaintance just arrived 
from Italy. 

*^ Ah ! D'Artigny," said he, *' I am glad to see 
you are come back at last! — I believe you only 
joined our party this evening. What have you 
not lost by your absence ! — though I dare say 
we preux chevaliers have gained by it, as 
we should have found you a formidable ad- 

*'It was late last night when I entered 
Paris,'' replied the young nobleman addressed 


as D'Artigny, " and I found it impossible to 
get away from them until this evening. Had I 
known that this splendid to'arnament was in 
contelnplation, I would have left Venice a week 

" Ah you have been in Venice then/' re- 
joined De Cressy, "and how is that queen of 
the ocean ? — how have you spent your time 
there V 

" Agreeably enough,*' replied D' Artigny, '* 1 
had a number of acquaintances, and was en- 
gaged at some masked ball or other every 

" And you did not weary of her silent canals 
and funereal looking gondolas," rejoined De 
Cressy, '* or of haunting the square of St. Mark 
and searching for some fair incognita — some 
beautiful nun, who flitted across your path, and 
then vanished for ever?'* 

** No indeed," said D' Artigny laughing, " such 
adventure has never befallen me, and I like the 
motion of the gliding gondolas and the songs of 


the gondoliers amazingly — but you seem to 
know Venice well, De Cressy — when have you 
been there?" 

*'Yes, I know Venice well,'' replied De 
Cressy, and the startled Isabelle fancied that 
hia voice assumed a softer tone, *' but it is some 
time since I saw it — six or seven years at least 
— I was there during one of the carnivals, and 
at first every thing was new and delightful ; but 
that period over, I soon became weary of Venice 
for many reasons — yet an event occurred during 
ray abode there, that will ever be vivid in my 
memory — it is a romantic story ;" and here he 
paused— then lowering his voice, he continued 
in a subdued and rather hurried tone, of which 
however the breathlessly attentive Isabelle did 
not lose a word *' I was at a ball at the Palazzo 
(Je — when a beautiful girl Agnes Loredan — no 
Loredan was not her name —it washer aunt 
who was the Marchioness Loredan — T could 
never find out the real name of this fascinating 
Agnes — but no matter what her name was — 1 


was looking over the balcony, when, after de- 
scending the steps, as she was about to enter 
into a gondola, her foot slipped — she was pre- 
cipitated into the lagune, and I — " Here a voice 
was heard to say " De Cressy the King wants 
you to make up a party at bassette" — and the 
Marquis de Soyecourt, who had been dispatched 
by the King for that purpose, hastily cut short 
the conversation, and carried De Cressy off, 
leaving Isabelle almost stupified with amaze- 

" Fell into the lagune as she was descending 
into the gondola, and I," Isabelle almost me- 
chanically repeated to herself — "Good Hea- 
vens ! can it be so ? — yes, he would have added 
but for this interruption — * and I threw myself 
in after her.' " 

Isabelle felt so ill that she was obliged to 
plead a violent head-ache, and to retire imme- 
diately from the ball-room. 

Dismissing her attendant, she paced her 


apnrtmcnt for Rcvcral minutes in p;reat agi- 

** And 1 have hoon wearing this token of De 
CrcHsy'H lov(;," exclaimed she, taking the locket 
we havft rnrrntioncd before from her bosom, 
where it always hung, throwing it on the table 
and f)ursting into a passion of tears. 

This gift, formerly so prized and treasured, 
became at once detestable to her, and she has- 
tily opened her jewel case, with the intention of 
putting it away, but a sudden thought seemed 
to nrrest her hririd, she paused, sat down 
and with a sigh began to examine it atten- 
tively, as if in the vain hope of finding some- 
thing in it to contradict the irrefragible evi- 
dence of her own senses. She looked at its 
delicate Venetian workmanship over and over 
again ; then opening the locket by a spring, 
contemplated the device which it enclosed. 

It represented a small female hand, grasped 
by the gauntleted one of a knight, with this 

inscription — 

" Non Kia niai sciolto." 


Isabelle trembled as she read it, a presenti- 
ment took possession of her soul that she was 
bound to Dc Cressy by a tic, which no efforts 
coiiUl unloose. 'Vhcn for the hundred thou- 
sandth time she examined the other side of the 
locket, which from its depth might well have 
cncloscil a picture or other device, and re- 
collcctcil lu>\v l)ittiM- h:ul been her disappoint- 
ment on lirst examining it to find that it con- 
tained no miniature of the donor. 

** Would it had." ejaculated she, "then I 
should have known and dreaded an intimate 
acquaintance with \^c C^cssy from the lirst." 

And then, w ith a sentiment of superstitious 
awe, Isabellc's thoughts reverted to the flowers 
she had received from the gipsy woman on 
the banks of the Seine, aiul to the mysterious 
dreams that had tormented her on tlu- night 
succeeding that brief interview, and again, as 
she hail heard her in her dreams, the tones of 
tho gipsy's voice reverberated in her ear with 
the prophecy * memory and ^undying love will 

c 6 


yet take possession of thy heart — yes, when 
least expected thou shalt see him again.' 

** I love him not —I can never love him," 
exclaimed Isabelle passionately, as the first part 
of this visionary prediction occurred to her ; 
'* but alas ! has not the latter part of it been 
indeed fulfilled — I have seen him again when 
least expected ?" 

All the night Isabelle was a prey to conflict- 
ing emotions, in which, however, grief and 
terror were predominant. This discovery made 
her feel as if she was on the edge of a pre- 
cipice, from which no power of her own could 
save her, as if impelled and drawn on step by 
step, notwithstanding all her exertions and 
struggles to retreat, a plunge into the abyss be- 
neath became inevitable. 

One strong arm might have been stretched 
forth to deliver her, but he drew back, he came 
not near her, and Isabelle covered her face with 
her hands and wept, as she could not but con- 


fess to herself, how dear, how prized would be 
his guardian care. 

As some poor mariner, whom the close of 
evening saw embarked on a calm blue sea, mis- 
led during the night by some false beacon, finds 
when morning breaks, that his frail bark is 
drifting fast over the bright, still waters, towards 
a whirlpool that must engulf him, with no 
breath of air to fill his sail, no friendly arm to 
assist him in rowing, hopeless of escape, aban- 
dons himself to his fate, — so did Isabelle, 
trembling and aghast, look upon the prospect 
before her. 

Nevertheless, after the first tumults were 
over, Isabelle became more calm. This revela- 
tion of what De Cressy and herself had once 
been to each other, was in her own keeping, 
and none should ever know it — De Cressy, she 
was satisfied, had not the most remote idea of 
it, and could never discover it. 

Perhaps had this elucidation of who had 
been the real object of her youthful imagina- 


tive and dream-like love — of this first and in- 
deed only romance of her heart, consecrated 
by gratitude for the chivalrous manner in 
which the hero of it had rescued her from the 
lagune, of this memory so often wrestled with, 
80 firmly crushed since her marriage, and yet 
by its sometimes flashing across her mind and 
mingling with her dreams, making her sensible 
that all her efforts were unable entirely to 
obliterate it — had this elucidation we repeat, 
of her mysterious lover occurred a few months 
sooner, it might have had a different effect 
upon Isabelle, and given a dangerous softness 
to her feelings towards the really handsome De 

But it now only served to unveil to her the 
engrossing passion which had of late taken 
possession of her heart, and which had perhaps 
rooted itself there the more firmly, because it 
had sprung up unmarked — had to struggle 
with her wounded pride, and had to conceal 


itself beneath the self-deception she was prac- 
tising on herself. 

Until now, she had fancied it was but a na- 
tural curiosity that had led her to listen with 
such attention to the reports every where 
spread of De Montfort's success in public life — 
that had made her endeavour to find out what 
others thought of his mental and personal en- 
dowments, that had induced her to watch the 
grace with which he rode, and his feats of skill 
at the tilting and the jousts. 

Until now she had believed it was only to 
show him that she cared not for him, that 
since their arrival at Versailles she had studied 
with the nicest art, all the little coquetries of 
dress, choosing and rejecting a robe a hundred 
times before she put it on, adorning with her 
own hands the glossy braids and ringlets of her 
hair, which Victorine was always used to ar- 
range before to her perfect satisfaction, and 
spending a time that she would formerly have 
considered as thrown away, in deciding on 


^vhat colour best suited her complexion. It 
was not because he was present that she over- 
came her usual reluctance to display her mu- 
sical talents, and that the tones of her voice 
assumed a redoubled sweetness and expression, 
which entranced her admiring listeners. 

Love had so disguised himself that Isabelle 
dreamed not until now, that to pique De Mont- 
fort, by exciting the attention of others — 'to 
attract his eye, to rouse him from the indiffer- 
ence in which he appeared plunged, had been 
for the last week the moving spring of all her 
words, thoughts and actions. 

All this De Montfort had watched with a 
jealous eye, and unjustly attributed to levity 
and coldness of heart, and while each day Isa- 
belle obtained more power over his peace of 
mind, each day seemed but to add a new bar- 
rier to the mountain of ice that divided them. 

Yet even while he blamed, he excused her. 
He accused himself of cruelty, of insanity in 
following as he had done, the dictates of his 


mad passion for Clementine, and leaving so 
young a creature, and so artless as she ap- 
peared to be by nature entirely to her own will 
and guidance. 

It is true she was his wife — he might have 
claimed the privilege of carrying her off into 
his chateau of Normandy, or to the other end 
of the world, far from the pursuit of De Cressy, 
of whom he began to be madly jealous. But 
the idea no sooner crossed his imagination, 
than he impetuously spurned it away, as ini- 
mical alike to the delicacy of his love, and to 
any chance he might ever have, of obtaining 
the affections of Isabelle ; and again he re- 
verted to his former plan of trying to soften 
her heart by a thousand fond attentions — a 
plan which, spell-bound as he felt himself in 
her presence, he had never yet dared to put 
into practice. 

Thus several days were spent by De Mont- 
fort, after the return of the court to Paris in 
thoughts, resolves and purposes, wavering and 


fluctuating as the billows of the ocean, when 
the storm sweeps over them. At last he sud- 
denly determined to request Isabelle, whom he 
knew he should meet that evening at a ball 

given by the Duchess of , to permit 

him to see her alone for a few minutes on the 

" I will then frankly avow my sentiments for 
her," soliloquized he ; " and I will at least hear 
from her own lips what are her feelings to- 
wards me.'* 

But when the evening came, and he saw the 
flattering attentions of the king to Isabelle, 
and noted the watchful devotion of De Cressy, 
who, unrepelled by her marked change of 
manner towards him, did but redouble his 
assiduities, the proud De Montfort had not 

courage to approach her, and left the salon 
without even being perceived by Isabelle, al- 
though her eyes had often wandered anxiously 
around in search of him. 



A turban girds her brow, white as the sea-foam, 
Whence all untramelled, her dark thin hair 
Streams fitfully upon her storm-bent front ; 
Her eye at rest, pale fire in its black orb 
Innocuous sleeps — but, rous'd, Jove's thunder cloud 
Enkindles not so fiercely. 

Duke of Mantua. 

IsABEiiLE was very unhappy. — She had at last 
discovered that she loved De Montfort — loved, 
by a strange and wayward fate, the man to 
whom destiny had united her, yet from whom» 
for that very reason, she seemed but the 
further separated. 


She saw less of De Montfort too, since her 
return from Versailles. He, putting a false con- 
struction upon several little circumstances, had 
made up his mind upon the score of her at- 
tachment to De Cressy, and notwithstanding 
his late resolve of coming to an explanation 
with her, after a violent conflict with himself, 
determined to abandon all idea of so vain an 
attempt, and endeavouring to absorb his pain- 
ful reflections by abstruse study, retired all at 
once from the haunts where he was used to 
meet her. 

Tsabelle would willingly have fled from the 
sight of De Cressy, but the position she 
held as Dame du Palais, obliged her to enter 
into society, and brought them constantly to- 

Neither was there any thing in De Cressy's 
earnest and insinuating but respectful manners, 
to which she could openly object, particularly 
as his lips had never dared to mention, what- 
ever his looks and actions might do, the hopes 


\rhich, with a secret and triumphant anticipa- 
tion of uhimate success, he entertained. 

In fact, the discovery which Isabella had 
made of the hidden bond between them — of his 
identity with the stranger youth of Venice, had 
deprived her of her native ease and sprightly 
ingenuousness when she conversed with him, 
and gave an unwonted diffidence to her man- 
ners, which he attributed to a far different 
cause to that from w hence it sprung. 

Thus deserted by De Montfort, hemmed in 
on every side by De Cressy, and with fears, in 
accordance with the superstition of the time in 
which she lived, of being destined to a fate 
that she could not avert, Isabelle felt like some 
poor bird, which rendered motionless by the 
eye of the fascinator that is fixed upon it, 
drooping and trembling, is unable to use its 
wings and fly away. 

At the period of which we write, astrology, 
sorcery and demonology, were believed in by 
all ranks of society. The wisest and most 


learned men had their nativities cast, and many 
were the arts resorted to for diving into the 
future, and drawing aside the veil from things 
to come. 

Isabelle was not untinctured with those su- 
perstitions, and finding the equipoise of her 
mind completely overthrown, and her thoughts 
continually reverting to the words that had 
fallen from the lips of De Cressy on the night 
of the ball at Versailles, relating to his former 
abode at Venice, and feeling that his society 
now always filled her with a nameless dread, 
lest her destiny might in some way be linked 
with his, although every succeeding day ren- 
dered his attentions more painful to her, she 
determined to seek a celebrated fortune teller, 
supposed to be of Egyptian birth, who for 
many months past had resided in the outskirts 
of Paris, and try if her skill might not remove 
those dim and undefined presages of evil, 
which haunted her waking thoughts and nightly 


Although it was well known that statesmen 
and warriors, as well as many dames of the 
court had secretly consulted this woman, still 
it was always done in mystery and disguise, 
none ever choosing to own their acquaintance 
with her, and if the truth was told, many re- 
turning from her house with heavier hearts 
than when they entered it. 

It was whispered, that to some she had re- 
vealed fearful family secrets, that but for her, 
would have slept in oblivion. She disclosed to 
the statesman the jealousies and plots with 
which he was surrounded, and which he could 
in no way circumvent. If she shewed the warrior 
the laurels he was to win in battle, she likewise 
shewed him the speedy death that was to follow 
his success. All those who dared to look upon 
her magic mirror, did but reap sorrow for their 
temerity. In that fatal class the young maiden 
saw her beloved kneeling at the feet of another, 
or if he proved true, friends and parents sepa- 


rated them for ever, and even if a goodly pic- 
ture of futurity was seen on its bosom, there 
was always shewn with it some misfortune or 
cankering care that marred its brightness, 

Isabelle was aware of those reports, but, she 
had a question to ask — a mystery to unravel, 
and she was determined to run any risk to 
obtain a solution of it. 

It was on an evening, that a grand masquerade 
ball was given at the palace, that Isabelle mas- 
qued and dressed in the habit of a nun of the 
order of St. Ursula, an hour before the time of 
assembling at the masquerade, repaired alone 
and on foot to that part of the city where the 
house inhabited by the Egyptian was situated. 
With a palpitating heart and unsteady hand, 
Isabelle knocked at the gate of an old fashioned 

deserted looking house, in the rue de — a 

street which had once been inhabited by several 
noble families, but which, of late years, from 
an idea that many of the houses were haunted, 


had been in a g;reat measure abandoned to a few 

After waiting for some seconds, a heavy iron 
bar seemed to be draw n back from the ponderous 
gate, and Isabelle was admitted into the grass 
grown court, by a frightful looking dwarf, who 
motioning her to follow him into the house, 
passed on rapidly through a long narrow and 
dimly lighted passage, which to Isabelle ap- 
peared to be interminable. At last they reached 
a flight of stone steps, where Isabelle, startled 
and terrified by the gloom of the place, paused 
and felt irresolute, whether she should not 
hastily retrace her steps and give up her pur- 
posed visit ; but she had now gone too far to 
recede, and the dwarf seeing her irresolution, 
addressed to her some words of encouragement 
in softer accents than one could have supposed 
to proceed from so hideous a monster, although 
in a tongue entirely unknown to her. Sum- 
moning up all her courage upon hearing his 
voice, Isabelle followed him up several flights 


of steps. A short passage now conducted 
them to a large folding door, which being noise- 
lessly opened by the dwarf, Isabelle found her- 
self admitted into a spacious apartment, par- 
tially lighted by the lingering rays of depart- 
ing day, which finding their way through two 
large windows, overlooking vrhat had once been 
a beautiful terraced garden, at one end of it, 
shed a sort of softened and indistinct twilight 
around, leaving the extremity of the room in 
total obscurity. 

Fragments of faded and moth-eaten tapestry 
hung upon the walls, the rich carved work on 
the ceiling was discoloured, and the remains 
of the frei work and gilding with which the 
apartment had once been adorned, now only 
served to give it a more desolate appearance. 
Facing the door by which Isabelle bad entered, 
was to be seen a door of similar dimensions, 
and at the end opposite the windows, hung a 
crimson curtain, now entirely concealed by the 


There was no furniture of any kind, but in 
the centre of the dark oaken floor was spread 
a rich Turkey carpet, in the midst of which, 
on a pile of cushions, recUned a female, magni- 
ficently dressed in the Eastern costume. On 
the entrance of Isabelle, she arose and saluted 
her, inviting her, in good French, but with a 
peculiar accent, to place herself beside her on 
the cushions. 

Isabelle, with a startled consciousness that 
she had heard the voice before, obeyed — thea 
raising her eyes to those of her companion, 
beheld her piercing black orbs fixed upon her 
with a look of keen inquiry, and immediately 
recognised with much perturbation, the com- 
manding air and features of the gipsy from 
whom she had received the mystic flowers 
on the banks of the Seine in Normandy. 

" Isabelle de Montfort, lay aside thy mask, 
all disguise is useless with me — thou art come 
at last, I have long expected thee — what 
wouldst thou with me ? wouldst thou try my 



knowledge of the future or of the past ? 
speak !" Thus said the sybil ; and Isabelle, with 
trembling hands, untied her mask, and laying 
it on the cushion, took from her finger a ruby 
ring of great value, which she presented to 

" Shew me the past first," replied Isabelle 
in a low voice ; " and then I shall be satisfied 
of the truth of the future.'^ 

" Thou shalt be satisfied," rejoined the sybil, 
" wait here for a few moments until I summon 

So saying, the sybil disappeared behind the 
crimson curtain. Her absence was however 
short, a small portion of the drapery was 
raised by an invisible hand, and Isabelle be- 
held her standing beside a huge mirror, in front 
of which, on a black marble pedestal, a lamp 
was burning. No ray of light, except that of 
the lamp, penetrated into this recess. 

Throwing various herbs on a chafing dish of 
coals which stood beside the lamp, and repeat- 


ing some words in an inaudible voice, the gipsy 
desired Isabelle to approach. 

"What wouldst thou now see?" said she, as 
Isabelle stood before the mirror. 

" I would recal the past," replied Isabelle, 
"shew me him whom my young heart first 
loved, and then " 

" Attend," interrupted the sorceress, *'thou 
shalt tell me thy next wish afterwards — mark 
what appears before thee." 

And now Isabelle saw the surface of the 
mirror, which at first reflected nothing but the 
objects around, become cloudy and dim, as 
gathering shadows passed over it. 

Soon a faint silvery moonlight stole through, 
what appeared to be, the tracery of a gothic 
window, and growing brighter as she intently 
gazed upon it, slowly unveiled part of the in- 
terior of a lofty cathedral church, glancing 
through its long aisles, and throwing a scattered 
beam here and there, upon its grey pillars and 
sculptured tombs. 

D 2 



In the foreground a young cavalier knelt at 
the feet of a slight female figure, who was en- 
veloped in a hood and veil — his attitude was 
that of entreaty, and he seemed to press her 
hand passionately to his lips — he wore a 
Spanish cloak and plumed cap, but his face 
was in deep shadow, although the moonlight 
clearly revealed his figure. 

'* It is suflBcient," said Isabelle, averting her 
face from the well remembered scene, " you 
have brought before me the past, I would now 
behold the future. Give me but a glimpse of 
him, who is to be the lord of my future destiny, 
and with whom, at my birth, the stars have in- 
terwoven the thread of my existence. Is it 
yon cavalier, whose image is now represented 
in the mirror, or another ? speak — bring him 
before me, I conjure you." 

'* Look again/' said the sybil, as the shadow 
slowly disappeared from the surface of the 

Agitated, and with so entire an absorption of 


every thought and faculty in the visual sense, 
that several people might have entered the 
room without her being aware of it, Isabelle 
fixed her eyes again upon the mirror, and was 
quite unconscious that at this moment the 
dwarf noiselessly opened the door and admitted 
a third person into the apartment. 

On seeing the dwarf's ugly face protruding 
through the door-way, the sybil had made him 
a hasty sign that he was not to permit any one 
to enter, but it was too late — the intruder al- 
ready stood in the apartment. Like Isabelle, 
he appeared to be on his way to the masquer- 
ade, as he was masked and habited in a Spanish 

With an angry gesture, the gipsy motioned 
the unwelcome visitor to withdraw through the 
opposite door to which she pointed 

He immediately obeyed, and Isabelle beheld 
with consternation, as he quickly crossed the 
room, the figure of a Spanish cavalier reflected 
in the mirror, not indistinct and shadowy, like 


the images she had just gazed upon, but so 
defined, so animated, so apparently palpable to 
her senses, that she started back with a sup- 
pressed shriek, and looked behind her — no one 
however, met her view, the apartment was 
empty, the gipsy alone stood beside her. 

Isabelle covered her face with her hands, and 
sunk into a chair — she listened not to the 
gipsy's exhortations and indeed commands, 
once more to study the magic mirror. Her 
fears of the power which the -star of De Cressy 
had obtained over her's were now confirmed, 
and her whole thoughts were turned to con- 
sider in what manner she had best struggle 
against its malignant influence. 

The giipsy took her hand, and would have 
drawn her again to the mirror, but snatching 
it away, with an impetuosity foreign to her 
natural gentleness, Isabelle darted from the 
apartment — rapidly descended the numerous 
flights of stone steps — hurried through the 
passage, and finding the dwarf in attendance 


at the door, put a piece of gold into his hand. 
This he received with a grin of dehght, and 
Isabelle, emerging from the desolate court, the 
gate of which he again barred behind her, 
with a timid step and throbbing heart, and 
many a furtive glance thrown around, passed 
through the deserted quarter, rendered still 
more lonely by the deepening twilight, and 
after a walk which seemed to have trebled its 
distance since she had trod it before, at length 
reached the palace and entered unobserved by 
a private door. And now, although much 
agitated and overcome by the events of the 
evening, Isabelle, having been ordered by the 
queen to join her, in her masquerade dress, at 
a certain hour which was nearly arrived, had 
not a moment's time to give to reflection, but 
was obliged immediately to hasten to the royal 

The morning of the same day in which 
Isabelle had made her visit to the sorceress, 
De Montfort, in looking over some papers in a 


cabinet, came across the letter which the old 
gipsy of the Carpathian mountains had re- 
quested him to be the bearer of to his daughter, 
whom he then surmised to be a sojourner in 
Paris. On his first arrival in Paris, De Mont- 
fort had made many fruitless attempts to dis- 
cover if any horde of foreign gipsies had 
arrived there lately, or were hovering about 
the vicinity, but as all inquiries proved vain, 
he had at last thrown aside the old man's letter 
in despair. He had, however, on the preced- 
ing day, heard, for the first time, of this cele- 
brated fortune-teller, of her extraordinary skill 
in the black art, and in casting nativities, and 
of her having predicted the ruin of one of the 
ministers who had lately fallen under the dis- 
pleasure of the king, and as the letter of the 
old gipsy caught his eye, it suddenly occurred 
to him, that this person might be no other than 
Zauina herself. 

Wishing to satisfy his suspicions without 
loss of time, and having, although with much 


reluctance, promised to accompany to the mas- 
querade, his father, the Count de Beaumont, 
to whom his son's sudden seclusion from 
society occasioned a great deal of pain, militat- 
ing as it did against all the hopes and castle 
building he had been indulging in, De Mont- 
fort determined that no hour could be more 
suitable for his projected visit, than the one 
preceding the assembling of the motley crew 
he had promised to join. He therefore, when 
the twilight began to render every object indis- 
tinct, proceeded in his masquerade dress, which 
happened, by chance, to be that of a Spanish 
knight, to seek for the house which had been 
minutely described to him. 

Knocking loudly at the gate, the dwarf soon 
made his appearance, and was on the point of 
saying that his mistress was engaged, when 
the baron, thinking that a sudden surprise 
might elicit from the creature, a solution of 
his doubts, and perceiving his unwillingness to 
admit him within the gate, said in an authori- 

D 3 


tative tone of voice, and in the Transylvanian 
dialect, that being the bearer of a missive from 
the old gipsy, who dwelt with his horde in the 
sohtudes of the Carpathian mountains, to his 
daughter, he insisted upon an immediate inter- 
view with her. 

The dwarf, who himself belonged to this 
tribe of gipsies, uttered a yell of delight, 
thus discovering to De Montfort that he was 
right in his conjectures, and forgetting the 
orders of his mistress, never to disturb her 
secret communings with a stranger, ushered 
De Montfort through the long passage and up 
the stone stair-case, unadvisedly admitting him 
into the presence of the sorceress, as we have 
seen before. 

With a glance of his eye, De Montfort re- 
cognized the figure of Zanina herself, who, 
emerging from behind the curtain with an 
eager gesture and scowling brow, pointed to 
the opposite door. De Montfort catching a 
glimpse of the mirror, before which he per- 


ceived standing the statue-like form of a female, 
immediately obeyed, and, following the direc- 
tion of Zanina's finger, passed through the 
other door into a spacious apartment, still 
more desolate than the one we have described, 
as part of it was open to the night winds of 
heaven, and a raven who sat croaking on a 
ruined pilaster, at the further end, seemed 
to have made his nest amidst the broken 

He was startled by the faint shriek of a female 
voice — then he heard the hurried step across 
the floor, and soon the door opened, and Zanina, 
with no benign aspect, bade him enter. A few 
words served to explain the purport of his visit, 
and after Zanina had taken the scroll, pressed 
it to her lips, and glanced her eye over it, her 
countenance changed — she burst into tears — 
kissed the hem of De Montfort's cloak, and 
passionately exclaimed ; *^ Thou hast saved my 
boy !" 

" I was but too happy ,^' repHed De Montfort, 


" to be able to requite in some degree, the 
hospitality of you and your good father to the 
benighted stranger — but I have come at an 
inopportune time ; it was only this morning it 
occurred tome to seek you here." 

" It was my fault," said Zanina ; " I thought 
not of the reflection of thy figure in the mirror, 
when I motioned thee to cross the room, and it 
so distracted the lady, that my efforts were use- 
less to calm her — but speak — tell me, did any ^ 
one know of the character thou wert to appear 
in this night at the masquerade V 

" No one, certainly," replied De Montfort ; 
'' my choice was purely accidental, and I only 
decided on it myself five minutes before I put 
it on." 

" 'Tis well," said the sorceress thoughtfully ; 
*' I cannot fathom her distress," — she paused 
for a few seconds and then added: "But most 
powerful and beneficent lord, what can 1 do 
for thee ? — -how thank thee sufficiently ? — shall 


I exert my art in thy favour and read thee thy 
destiny V 

" My destiny is read and told," said De 
Montfort, mournfully; *' besides Zanina," added 
he, "to confess the truth, I like not thy unhal- 
lowed art, and I do not believe in it." 

"Thou dost not believe in it!" exclaimed 
Zanina, haughtily. 

" No/' replied De Montfort, firmly ; " I do 
not believe in it.'' 

" Shall I give thee a sign ?" demanded Za- 
nina, earnestly. 

^' Torment me not with this child's play/' 
said De Montfort, sternly ; "I must depart, 
I came but to give thee thy letter— fare u ell." 

"Farewell, we shall meet to-morrow evening 
at the theatre, at all events," replied Zanina. 

*' Now thou art out,'' exclaimed De Montfort, 
contemptuously ; " for I have already signified 
my determination of not going thither to-morrow 

*'Thou art mistaken — thou wilt be there," 


said Zanina, mildly; "but again farewell — I 
thank thee from the bottom of my heart, for 
saving my beautiful boy — the light and treasure 
of my eyes." 




What equal torment to the grief of mind, 
And pining anguish hid in gentle heart, 
That inly feeds itself with thoughts unkind, 
And nourisheth her own consuming smart ! 
What medicine can any leech's art 
Yield such a sore that doth her grievance hide. 
And will to none her malady impart ! 

Spenser's Fairy Queen. 

It was near morning when De Montfort left 
the masquerade and returned to his hotel. He 
had been unusually depressed during the whole 
night. Perhaps some of our readers may have 
experienced the dispiriting effects whic^ a bril- 
liant assembly has sometimes on the mind. In 
general we seek there to animate — to exhi- 
larate — to revive the animal spirits, but such 


is not always the result of mingling in the giddy 
crowd — to persons of deep feeling, chafing it 
niay be from some keen disappointment, or who 
have, after severe struggles, obtained some equa- 
nimity of mind, the noise and glitter of a 
crowded assembly oppresses with a sense of 
solitariness more complete, than the same time 
spent in the wildest glen, furthest from the 
haunts of men, could bestow. Perhaps it is the 
discord between the gay scene around and our 
feelings, that brings with it this intolerable 
weight of loneliness and depression, when the 
rustling of a single leaf, the murmuring of the 
tiniest stream, the veriest insignificant chirp- 
ing of a grasshopper, would have cheered and 
refreshed the drooping soul. 

Such were the feelings of De Montfort dur- 
ing the masquerade, yet once there, although 
hating the bustle and merriment, he staid on, and 
was amongst the last to leave it ; for although of 
late he had shunned every place of resort where 
there was a chance of meeting with Isabelle, 


yet such is the waywardness and instability of 
human resolves, that he continued to move in- 
cessantly from one group of masquers to ano- 
ther, endeavouring to discover with what party, 
or in what disguise she could be found, heedless 
alike of the comic scenes that were passing on 
every side, and of the lively sallies, gay interro- 
gatories, and bright eyes of many of the fair 

But Isabelle was no where to be seen. In a 
frame of mind very similar to that of De Mont- 
fort, she had found herself so unfitted for the 
scene, that remaining in the rooms scarcely half 
an hour, she had slipped away unperceived and 
retired to her pillow, to think but not to sleep, 
so that De Montfort had hardly time to reach 
the masquerade, before Isabelle had quitted it. 

On the following evening was to be performed 
the beautiful entertainment of Psyche at the 
Palais Royal. It was known that Corneille had 
lent his aid to Moliere, in the composition of 
this piece, and had himself written all the 


principal scenes. The reason for these two 
great worshippers of Thalia and Melpomene 
thus uniting their talents, was, that the king 
had signified to Moliere his wish for an enter- 
tainment, combining all that could enchant and 
interest the soul in poetry, with those magni- 
ficent exhibitions and decorations, which capti- 
vating the ear and eye, had a wonderful charm 
for the monarch ; and the comic dramatist, 
taking the idea of his plot from Fontaine's cele- 
brated romance of Psyche, which had just ap- 
peared, and fearing to trust to his own skill in 
a composition differing so entirely from any one 
of his former works, had had recourse to the 
friendly aid of the great Corneille, who, though 
now in the decline of life, could paint with the 
brilliant imagination and fire of youth, the mas- 
ter passion of the soul, and move an admiring 
audience to pity and to tears. 

This association of the genius of those two 
celebrated writers, supported as it was, by the 
skill of the most ingenious machinists, which 


had been put into requisition in order to repre- 
sent all that was lovely in earth and sky, and 
grandest and most appalling in the descent into 
hell, made the representation of Psyche to be 
eagerly anticipated by the lovers of the theatre. 

De Montfort, however, had made up his 
mind not to go to the theatre on this evening, 
feeling a disinclination to every thing that wore 
the aspect of gaiety, or that could affect the 
passions or touch the heart, purposing to see 
the representation of Psyche some other time, 
when he should be in a more congenial mood. 

He had, therefore, lent his box to a friend, 
who at this time, had a large party staying with 
him, for whom he was very desirous to get ac- 
commodation at the theatre. De Montfort was 
not then, agreeably surprised, when an invita- 
tion from the king was sent to him, half an 
hour before the time appointed for the perform- 
ance, to fill the place of one of the lords in 
attendance, who had been suddenly taken ill? 
and an invitation from Louis being synonymous 


to a command, he was obliged to prepare imme- 
diately to obey. This he did the more unwil- 
lingly as Zanina's prediction of meeting him at 
the theatre occurred to him, and this strange 
coincidence, notwithstanding he deemed it the 
sport of accident, disturbed him not a little. 

Isabelle, in the mean time, although she had 
taken no interest in the masquerade, and had 
flown from it as soon as she could, had so long 
looked forward with pleasure to the acting of 
Psyche, and having already been present at a 
rehearsal of some of the principal scenes, de- 
termined to make use of her own box this 
evening without joining any party, and expected, 
by going early, to be entirely to herself. Ac- 
cording to her intentions she was almost among 
the first who entered the theatre, and taking 
her seat in the back part of the box, half con- 
cealed by a curtain, so as to be able to see 
clearly the actors and actresses, without being 
under the eye of general observation, hoped, by 
the absorbing influence of this beautiful drama, 


to be able to fly, as it were, from her own 
thoughts and reflections. 

Hidden as she was, even De Montfort did 
not perceive Isabelle until the commencement 
of the fourth act, when forgetful of everything 
but the performance in which she was entirely 
wrapt, and bending forward in the attitude of 
profound attention, she slightly discomposed 
the drapery of the curtain. De Montfort's eyes 
were immediately rivetted on her — they had 
long ceased to wander from one group of the 
court beauties to another in a vain search for 
her, and it was only by an accidental change in 
his position, that he now, to his great surprise, 
discovered she was in her own box and was quite 

To some eyes she would have appeared less 
lovely than usual, as the expression of her 
countenance was grave almost to melancholy, 
and her cheek had not a tint of colour, but De 
Montfort fancied he had never seen her look 
so beautiful before. 


Yet the new character in which she appeared 
to him — so different in the isolation, and me- 
lancholy with which she had surrounded her- 
self, to her accustomed brilliant appearance in 
the crowded circles where he was used to meet 
her — while it enhanced her charms in his sight, 
brought with it food for the keenest jealousy, 
by suggesting the idea that the absence of the 
favoured De Cressy might be the cause of it. 

Isabelle had not apparently been discovered 
except by himself, by any of the party De 
Montfort was with, and from the corner where 
he now stood, he was able, unobserved, to watch 
every change and turn of her expressive coun- 
tenance, while she, more and more absorbed as 
the interest heightened, never once took her 
eyes off the theatre. 

There was something in the mystery attached 
to this passionate and unknown lover — in the 
doubts and fears awakened in the bosom of the 
too confiding Psyche by her malicious sisters — 
in the melancholy she cannot conceal from her 


lover, and in the tender reproaches which in- 
duces him to swear by Styx to do every thing in 
his power to dissipate it and to fulfil her wishes, 
that made every chord in the heart of Isabelle 
vibrate over and over again. 

Ah 1 she too loved as passionately as Psyche 
— but no discovery could either deprive her of, 
or bestow on her, the heart of the man she 

Wayward as was the fate of Psyche — was not 
her fate even more wayward ? It was because 
Love himself had taken possession of her, and 
awakened all the secret sensibilities so long 
shut up, that Isabelle's tears fell so fast when 
L' Amour, unable to break his oath, satisfies the 
fatal curiosity of Psyche in that beautiful pas- 
sage which begins : 
" He bien, je suis le Dieu le plus puissant des Dieux I 
Absolu sur la terre, absolu dans les cieux ; 
Dans les eaux, dans les airs, mon pouvoir est supreme 

En un mot, je suis I'Amour merae, 
Qui de mes propres traits m'etois blesse pour vous, 
Et sans la violence, helas ! que vous me faites, 
Et qui vieut de changer mon amour en courroux, 
Vous m'alliez avoir pour epoux," &c. &c. 


He then flies away for ever, while the splen- 
did palace, gardens, bovvers and fountains, dis- 
appear, and the unfortunate Psyche finds herself 
alone in a desolate wilderness. 

The distress deepens — the next scene is beau- 
tiful ; Psyche laments her fatal error, and re- 
proaches her ungrateful heart — 

" Coeur ingrat, tu n'avois qu'un feu mal allume, 
Et Ton ne peut vouloir, du moment que I'on aime, 
Que ce que veut I'objet aime." 

Then she addresses the river god, and asks 
him to bury her in his waves — 

•* Fleuve, de qui les <aux baignent ces tristes sables, 

Ensevelis mon crime dans tes flots ; 

Etpour finir des maux si deplorables, 
Laisse-moi, dans ton lit, assurer mon repos." 

But the river god refuses to receive her — 

'* Ton trepas souilleroit mes oudes, 
Psyche, le ciel te le defend." 

Another scene intervened between Venus and 
the unhappy Psyche, without Isabelle's relaxing 
in her profound attention ; and then hell itself 
was opened to the view, with the infernal palace 



of Pluto, surrounded by an ocean of fire into 
the midst of which the miserable Psyche is 
going to plunge in search of her lover, while 
the Furies and other grim spectres in vain 
attempt to dispute her passage. 

At this moment, a cry of fire ! fire ! was 
simultaneously heard on every side, and in an 
instant the whole theatre became a scene of the 
most appalling confusion. A general rush was 
made for the door — the crowd pressed upon 
each other, benches were overthrown — par- 
titions of the seats demolished, and it was with 
the greatest difficulty the police could keep 
any order, or prevent numbers from being 
trampled to death. 

The king and queen, with those of the court 
who were immediately in their train, obtained 
a safe and speedy exit through a private door 
kept clear for them by a large body of police. 
This door, Isabelle. who had frequently passed 
through it with the queen, likewise endeavoured 
to reach, but she had scarcely escaped from her 



box before she was violently jostled aside, and 
would have been precipitated into the pit, had 
she not, fainting and breathless, saved herself 
from falling, by cUriging to one of the pillars 
which divided the boxes — but she felt that she 
could not long retain her position — her head 
grew giddy, her eyes closed, her grasp relaxed, 
and as the balustrades had been torn away in 
the confusion, she would inevitably have fallen 
amidst the dense crowd, and been crushed to 
death, had not a strong arm been suddenly- 
thrown round her, just as she was on the point 
of sinking, while a dreamy recollection that she 
had been wrapt in a cloak and borne rapidly 
through a scorching heat, by some one, who 
as he had caught her in his arms, ejaculated, — 
" Thank Heaven, I have saved her ?' The 
voice still rung in her ear — it was like, but, 
ah ! it could not be, the voice of De Montfdrt — 
was all that memory could recall on her awak- 
ing from a long and death like trance. 

It was indeed the voice of De Montfort, that 


had for an instant arrested the fleeting senses 
of Isabelle. On the first alarm of fire he had 
sprung forward to assist her, but it was not 
without great difiiculty, and the exercise of 
almost herculean strength, that he was enabled 
at last, after much delay and many hair breadth 
escapes, to reach her box — it was empty. His 
first impulse was that of joy — '' she is safe — 
she has left the theatre," exclaimed he, " but 
Heavens ! should she have got amongst the 
crowd !" He paused, gaz^d wildly around and 
discovered her at a little distance, clinging to 
the pillar. In an instant Isabelle was in his 
arms — one moment later and she would have 
been lost. 

Taking a cloak which some one in their flight 
had left behind, he threw it over her lifeless 
form, hoping that it might in some degree 
shield her from the heat which was becoming 

The beams and planks which they were pull- 
ing down in every direction, in order to stop 

£ 2 


the progress of the flames, as well as the crowd 
which still continued to pour through the 
passages and doorways, interrupted his course, 
impeded as it was by the fainting form in his 
arms ; he tried to force a passage but in vain — 
death stared him in the face on every side. 
Suddenly a voice close tohis earsaid, ''This way! 
this way ! follow me/^ and Zanina the gypsy 
^catching him by the sleeve, pulled him in a 
different direction from the one he had been 
endeavouring to pursue. Making a sign to her 
swarthy companion, a man of gigantic stature, 
to make way through a spot where the crowd 
was becoming less dense, and again telling De 
Montfort to follow them, he was soon freed 
from the suffocating atmosphere he had been 
breathing, and emerged into the c pen street; 
but upon looking around, with the intention of 
thanking the gipsy and her companion for 
their opuortui\e assistance, he found they had 
disappeared, and were no where to be seen. 
At this instant a carriage passed — it was 


empty, and he called to the driver, who im- 
mediately drew up. Telling him to drive with 
all speed to the palace, he placed his lifeless 
burthen on the seat, and springing into it him- 
self, supported her head on his bosom — a 
feeling of intense joy at thus having rescued 
her from certain destruction filled his soul — he 
felt as if he had won her for himself, as if 
she were indeed all his own — he imprinted 
a thousand kisses upon her cold lips and 
cheek, calling ] her by the most passionate 
and endearing names — something seemed to 
whisper to him, that the icy barriers between 
them were destroyed for ever — that the heart 
which lay so close to his, would yet beat re- 
sponsive to his love. He would have recalled 
her to life, by the hot tears which fell upon her 
face, by the warm beatings of his own heart, 
but as if bound in the adamantine chains of 
death, no broken sigh, no, not the slightest 
breathing could De Montfort catch — no faint 
pressure of her little hand returned the pas- 
sionate clasp of his — it lay cold as ice in his 



grasp — no murmured thanks broke from her 
lips to thrill his soul with rapture — cold as the 
drifted snow that covers the benighted traveller 
lay the senseless form of Isabelle upon his 

Ah ! had a spark of consciousness returned 
to her in those moments, — what passionate 
avowals — what tender revelations of a pure and 
holy love, would have dissipated the mist of 
error that concealed the real state of those two 
hearts from each other. 

Soon the liveliest alarm at this long insensibility 
took the place of De Montfort's first fond joy. 
Ordering the coachman to drive still faster they 
shortly arrived at the entrance to that part of 
the palace where were situated the apartments 
of the Dames du Palais, and bearing Isabelle 
in his arms from the carriage, the half dis- 
tracted De Montfort carried her up the nu- 
merous flights of steps and through the long 
corridor to her boudoir, where, with the assist- 


ance of the terrified Victorine, he laid her 
upon a couch. 

Not the least sign of returning consciousness 
however appeared, and De Montfort, almost 
frantic, ordered half the faculty in Paris to be 
sent for, and in the mean time, kneeling beside 
her, rubbed her temples himself with Hungary- 
water and other restoratives, which Victorine 
brought him. 

The physician attendant on the Queen's 
household soon came, although to the impatient 
De Montfort an age seemed to elapse before 
his arrival. He looked very grave on seeing 
the condition of Isabelle,and prepared directly 
to use more powerful restoratives ; but, notwith- 
standing all his skill, several hours passed away 
before the slightest consciousness returned, and 
then she seemed only to revive for an instant, to 
fall from one faint into another, so that the 
physician found it necessary to sit up with her 
himself the entire night ; but he would not on 
any account permit De Montfort to remain in 


the room after her powers of observation and 
perception were in the smallest degree restored, 
as he said her nerves had received a violent 
shock, and she must be kept perfectly still — he 
knew not even if brain fever might not yet 

With this fear before his eyes, De Montfort 
did not dare to contravene the orders of Doctor 
Pancrace, and spent a watchful and wretched 
night in the adjoining anti-chamber. 

The state of exhaustion and prostration of 
mental and bodily strength in which Isabelle 
remained for many days, had a much deeper 
foundation however than either doctor Pancrace 
or De Montfort could surmise. In fact, the 
agitation of mind that Isabelle had endured 
ever since the night of the ball at Versailles, 
with the constant exertions she had made to 
enact a part and to bury her real sentiments 
not only in the depths of her heart, but even to 
hide them from herself, had so wrought upon 
her frame as to have made her for several weeks 


previous to the evening of the representation 
of Psyche, tremble at the rustling of a leaf, or 
the shutting of a door, and therefore the more 
susceptible of ill effects from the danger and 
turmoil by which she had all at once found 
herself surrounded at the theatre. 



Hope, of all passions, most befriends us here : 
Joy has her tears ; and transport has her death ; 
Hope, like a cordial, innocent, though strong, 
Man's heart, at once, inspirits and serenes. 


Our waking dreams are fatal ; how I dreamt 
Of things impossible ! (could sleep do more ?) 
Of joys perpetual in perpetual change ! 
Of stable pleasures on the tossing wave ! 
Eternal sunshine in the storms of life. 
How richly were my noon-tide trances hung 
With gorgeous tapestries of pictur'd joys ! 


Several days passed away in a sort of dreamy 
unconsciousness and feverish restlessness, before 
Isabelle was sufficiently recovered, to collect 


her scattered thoughts and to reflect upon the 

She remembered, as we have said before, 
clinging to the pillar to prevent herself from 
being hurled into the pit, and how, at the mo- 
ment her senses were failing, and every object 
seemed to her glazed eyes to whirl about with 
inconceivable rapidity, a man had sprung for- 
ward and clasped her with a powerful arm, and 
as he held her closely pressed to his heart, a 
voice whose thrilling tones had never since 
ceased to echo in her ear, seemed to express a 
passionate joy at her preservation. But she 
could recollect no more ; and now it appeared 
to her but a mocking delusion of her imagina- 
tion, to suppose that the voice she had heard, 
could be that of De Montfort — yet it haunted 
her continually in these hours of exhaustion, 
and two or three times she sat up, and wildly 
drew back the curtain, fancying that the same 
voice in soft accents, was whispering near her 


When she had strength to interrogate Vic- 
torine upon the subject, she found, to her ex- 
treme disappointment, that the latter appeared 
to be totally ignorant as to by whom, or in 
what manner her mistress had been conveyed 
home from the theatre — all she could elicit 
from her was, that a stranger had hastily 
entered her apartment, bearing her in hia 
arms apparently lifeless, and had laid her upon 
a couch in the boudoir, and that he himself, to 
judge by the soiled and torn appearance of his 
cloak, and the smell of fire that clung to his 
garments, must have come direct from the 
midst of the flames. 

Isabelle sighed heavily and silently turned 
away — it was impossible, she thought but that 
Victorine must have known De Montfort, had 
he indeed been her deliverer, and bitter tears 
of disappointment rolled doM^n her cheeks. 

Victorine had in reality, immediately recog- 
nised the baron, both by his appearance and 
by the orders which he had issued for me- 


dical advice, and even if she had never seen 
him before, his agitation with the anxious cares, 
which he seemed to feel it his right to lavish 
upon the baroness, together with his conversa- 
tion with the physician, would have revealed to 
her his name and rank. But Victorine was 
acting a part under the direction of a more acute 
intellect than her own, as we shall presently 

Neither did she give the slightest hint to her 
mistress of the excessive agitation, which this 
stranger, as she chose to consider him, had 
evinced at her protracted insensibility, or of 
his having spent the night in the anti-chamber 
communicating with her apartment, or of the 
ceaseless inquiries he had made after her, and 
the many hours he had passed in walking up 
and down the adjoining gallery, when her fever 
was at its height — all these particulars were as 
a sealed book to Isabelle. 

" It could not then be De Montfort's voice 
I heard,'* said Isabelle to herself, with a deep 


sigh, after having again questioned Victorine 
as much as her weak state would permit her to 
do ; " Alas ! it was but the illusion of an ima- 
gination, which is ever bringing his image 
before my eyes." 

This chagrin and the feverish irritation con- 
sequent upon it, retarded the recovery of Isa- 
belle, and all the medicaments prescribed by 
Doctor Pancrace, were of no avail in restoring 
her strength, until one morning, during his 
daily visit, the good doctor accidentally alluded 
to the escape she had had from the fire, by the 
fortunate circumstance of the Baron de Mont- 
fort's being near enough to rescue her from 
the imminent danger in which she was placed, 
and to bear her from the theatre. 

This unexpected discovery, while it threw 
her into an agitation which frightened the 
unconscious doctor, who saw in her changing 
colour, nervous tremor, and violent emotion, 
the indications of excessive debility, did more 
than all his prescriptions to accelerate her re- 


covery. It was not until some time after his 
departure, that Isabelle could command her 
feelings sufficiently, so as to be able to express 
to Victorine her surprise that she had not re- 
cognised the Baron de Montfort in the stranger 
who had conveyed her home. 

The adroit souhrette, although rather con- 
founded, pleaded with much presence of mind 
her own anxiety and terror at seeing her mis- 
tress in such a plight, as a good excuse for her 
want of observation, and the unsuspecting 
Isabelle, too happy at this discovery to find 
fault w^ith any one, easily believed her assertion. 
It was then De Montfort who had saved her 
— it was in his arms she had fainted at the 
theatre — they were the tones of his voice, 
which day and night had rung in her ears, 
sleeping and waking during her illness. 

She overwhelmed Victorine with a thousand 
questions, but she could get no reply, except 
that the baron, since it was the baron himself, 
having laid her upon the sofa and ordered a 


physician to be sent for, had immediately dis- 

" Has the baron made no inquiries — sent no 
message ?'' Isabelle demanded in a faltering 

Victorine knew of none — the porter had had 
to answer numerous daily inquiries, but she 
did not hear the baron's name mentioned 
amongst them — the Count de Beaumont had 
called frequently. 

Isabelle's heart sunk for an instant — she 
closed her eyes and mused in silence — 

"He will certainly come to inquire for me 
by and by — perhaps come and see me when I 
am better?" thought she, ''and then I may 
speak to him of the service he has rendered me — 
1 may thank him — perhaps— who knows— Ah ! 
be cannot quite hate me— he has risked his life 
to save mine — Victorine said the fire had singed 
his clothes." (Here her heart beat violently, 
and a deep flush overspread her face, as De 
Montfort's exclamation of " thank Heaven, I 


have saved her !" occurred to her mind.) " Why 
did I not recover in the carriage ? Why was I 
not able to speak to him ? Ah ! perhaps he 
may yet call me Isabelle — his Isabelle. O my 
God !— it will be no crime to try to win his 
heart — I have been so proud ! I have never, 
never tried to please him. — Yes, he has heard 
of me through the Count de Beaumont, and 
he waits until I am fully restored to health to 
come and see me. In a few days at farthest we 
shall meet." 

This consciousness that De Montfort had 
risked his life to save hers, although she did 
not dare permit herself to think that love could 
have had any share in it — while it satisfied 
her pride by placing her in his debt, gave a 
plea to her inclinations to attempt the conquest 
of his aflfection, and hope, ever ready to flatter 
with her airy structures, now gave her glimpses 
of a future, fair as the enchanted gardens which 
the God of Love had conjured up for the ha- 
bitation of his lovely Psyche, 


But day passed away after day — De Mont- 
fort came not — sent not— and the visions of 
hope faded from the imagination of the dis- 
appointed Isabelle. 

De Montfort, in the mean time, was suffering 
the most bitter chagrin. Hour after hour, day 
after day, during the first period of Isabelle's 
illness, he had lingered in the gallery and anti- 
chamber of her apartment; that he might not 
lose a moment in being made aware of any 
change that should take place. 

As her strength began to return and she ap- 
proached towards convalescence, a feeling of 
delicacy prevented him from intruding himself 
into her presence, and looking forward to the 
pleasure of seeing her when she should have 
left her chamber, he contented himself with 
sending her numerous messages of kind in- 
quiry. Deeply mortified at last, that no word, 
not even one of cold politeness, had been sent 
to him in return by Isabelle, and thinking that 
the carelessness of her attendants, in not make 


ing her fully aware of his anxiety about her, 
might be the cause of it, he determined in 
future to leave a note of inquiry after her 
health every day, and in these the passionate 
tenderness of the lover breathed in every line. 
Still no message — no line — no kind word from 
Isabelle, and as he found from the physician 
who still attended her, that although weak and 
nervous, she was now so far recovered as to 
admit of her seeing any intimate friend, he re- 
solved to write and request permission to be 
allowed to visit her. 

In this letter at once manly, eloquent, and 
tender, De Montfort said, that he would en- 
tirely avoid alluding to past events, and would 
only say, that his former blind infatuation could 
b^ equalled by nothing, but the sorrow and 
regret which he now felt for it — that his future 
destiny must be entirely in her hands, and that 
he should not dare to reproach her, whatever her 
determination might be — all he asked at present 
was, to be admitted as a friend, and to have the 


happiness of hearing from her own lips that 
she would deign to consider him as such. He 
painted in lively terms the agony her silence 
inflicted upon him, and while acknowledging 
that he well merited it, besought her, even if 
she should refuse his request, to send him, at 
least, a few lines in reply to his letter. 

This epistle De Montfort entrusted to Fran- 
9ois, desiring him to give it to Victorine, and 
to wait for an answer. While Fran9ois was 
absent, he paced the room up and down, with 
unequal steps — now quick — now slow, as hope 
and fear alternated in his bosom. One hour — 
two hours passed away — it was an age of tor- 
ture, and unable to wait any longer, he was on 
the point of proceeding in search of him, when 
the valet arrived, and with a grave countenance 
reported, that he had given the letter to Vic- 
torine, who had conveyed it immediately to her 
mistress, and that after waiting a considerable 
time in expectation of receiving a note or letter, 
Victorine had at length re-appeared and told 


bim, that the Baroness said it required no an- 

The Baron turned deadly pale at this an- 
nouncement, and striving to conceal his agita- 
tion from Fran9ois, said : 

*' It must be that the Baroness is ill, other- 
wise I should have had a reply." 

He then dismissed the valet, and after pacing 
the room for some time in great agitation, made 
up his mind that Isabelle had had a relapse, as 
otherwise it was impossible that she should not 
have sent him at least a verbal message, and 
hastily leaving his hotel, he proceeded to her 
residence to inquire himself about her. 

The report which the porter gave of the im- 
proved health of the Baroness, while it allayed 
the fears of De Montfort on that head, added to 
the misery he felt at having had no notice taken 
of his letter, and he desired to see Victorine 
immediately. Victorine appeared, an.d her re- 
plies to his almost inarticulate interrogatories 
confirmed the statement of the porter, while 


she added in confirmation of it, that the Ba- 
roness had been able to see one or two friends 
that morning. 

" And my letter," exclaimed the Baron, with 
impeded respiration — "the letter I sent by 
Fran9oia }"' 

" I delivered it immediately, to Madame la 
Baronne," replied Victorine, with quiet auda- 

*^ And what said she,'^ demanded De Mont- 
fort, impetuously. 

" Madame was setting at her secretaire writ- 
ing some notes," replied Victorine ; " I do not 
think, madame considered that the letter con- 
tained matters of any consequence, for she 
merely glanced her eye over it, and throwing it 
into the secretaire, said, there was no answer — 
I dare say Madame la Baronne may read it 
through by and by.'^ 

Victorine had learned her lesson well. 

Just at this moment the Marquis de Cressy 
passed by at a little distance. He seemed to 


come from the suite of apartments inhabited 
by Isabelle. 

The Baron bit his lip until the blood burst 
forth — indignation and jealousy filled his bosom, 
and hastily returnirg to his hotel, he bade the 
triumphant Fran9ois prepare for their imme- 
diate departure from Paris. 

Jsabelle all this time, like De Montfort, reck- 
oned the weary days, the hours, the minutes, 
as they past ; each one, as it slowly flitted by, 
leaving a keener sense of disappointment in her 
fluttering, anxious heart. Victorine had offici- 
ously paraded before her all the notes and cards 
of inquiry that had been left during her illness ; 
with an unsteady hand and eager glance, had 
she looked them over, in hopes, despite of "Vic- 
torine's assurance to the contrary, that De 
Montfort's name might be amongst them — but 
no, his name was no where to be seen. 

Soon she received a visit from the Count de 
Beaumont — others had come, she had seen 
many, but De Montfort came not — sent not — 


and while common acquaintances were prodigal 
of letters and congratulations, he alone, whom 
she most wished to see, was silent and absent. 

At length Victorine informed her, as if acci- 
dentally, of the departure of De Montfort from 
Paris. Isabelle, thunderstruck, hastily dis- 
missed her attendant, and covering her face with 
her hands, burst into a passion of tears. 

He was gone, gone ! and never asked to see 
her ! Alas ! it could be only common humanity 
that brought him to her rescue at the theatre — 
he cared not if she died — perhaps he wished it, 
he would then be free. 

" Cruel De Montfort, would'st thou had let 
me perish in the flames. Far, far better, had I 
died there, than be thus, as I too certainly am, 
the object of thy detestation." 

And now a sudden terror filled her soul, at 
thus discovering, as if for the first time, how 
the whole happiness of her life, her peace of 
mind, all her energies, and powers of thought 
and imagination, were concentrated on him. 


and in an agony of grief, she felt that she de- 
spised herself for permitting his image to obtain 
so complete a dominion over her ; fresh floods 
of tears came to her relief, and throwing her- 
self on a couch, she sobbed herself asleep. 

Leaving the young Baroness for a short time 
in this state of happy oblivion, from which she 
was to awake, only to give herself up to bitter 
reflection and poignant grief, we must now en- 
deavour to unfold, by whom, in what manner, 
and for what purpose, those secret machinations 
were carried on, which so effectually prevented 
any explanation or interchange of sentiment 
from taking place between De Montfort and 
Isabelle, placing as it were a new barrier be- 
tween them, and removing them more effectu- 
ally than ever from each other, and in order to 
do this, we must call the attention of our rea- 
ders to a very efficient actor in this nefarious 
plot, being no other a person than the Baron de 
Montfort's favourite valet, Fran9ois, of u hose 


former life, before he entered the service of the 
Baron, we must give a slight sketch. 

Franpois Laporte was the foster-brother of 
Madame de Varville. In early life, when re- 
siding in the province of Bretagne, Clementine 
had been very kind to him, making him nu- 
merous little presents out of her pocket 
money, and always accosting him, whenever 
she met him in her walks, which happened very 
frequently, with eager inquiries after her good 
nurse, of whom she was very fond. 

At this period, Fran9ois was a shepherd's 
boy in the neighbourhood of the chateau, 
where the parents of Madame de Varville re- 
sided, but being of an aspiring disposition, and 
having at the same time an acute and intelli- 
gent manner, a gentleman travelling through 
that part of the country, pleased with the 
quickness with which he had answered some 
questions that had been put to him, engaged 
him in his service, and took him up to Paris 
in the capacity of an under laqiiais. Here, in 


a few years, Fran9ois so improved himself, as 
to acquire ail the knowledge and accomplish- 
ments necessary for a valet-de-chambre, and to 
these he added no small share of wit, dexterity, 
and a great aptitude for all sorts of intrigue 
and knavery, but these last qualities he had the 
art to conceal beneath an air of open frankness 
and incorruptible honesty. 

It was in the character of valet-de-chambre, 
to the young Baron de Montfort that Clemen- 
tine met him in Paris, and as he was the bearer 
of many a billet-doux from his enamoured 
master, she recognised him with pleasure, and 
found him a most useful auxiliary in forward- 
ing her designs of captivating and seriously en- 
tangling De Montfort. 

FraR9ois accompanied the baron abroad, and 
on De Montfort 's return to Paris, Madame de 
Varville, as we have seen, though wedded 
again, felt the keenest resentment on perceiv- 
ing that he had quite shaken off his former 
shackles, and had completely disentangled 

F 2 


himself from the enchantments with which, 
Armida Hke, she had surrounded him. She 
therefore sent for Fran9ois as soon as she 
perceived the baron's indifference, and gold, 
added to the ancient influence she had ex- 
ercised over him, soon made him a willing and 
able assistant in all her schemes. 

The keen eye of Franpois soon discovered 
the increasing interest which Isabelle began to 
excite in the breast of the baron, and he imme- 
diately informed Madame de Varville of it, and 
as nothing could be more inimical to her 
wishes, or could set at naught more the feelings 
of hatred and revenge with which she was in- 
spired, than a reconciliation between those two 
parties, she determined, with the assistance of 
Fran9ois, to make use of every stratagem she 
could. devise to prevent it. 

In pursuance of this plan, the first step was 
for Franpois to become acquainted with Vic- 
torine, the femme'de-chamhre of Isabelle, and 
as Victorine was a Breton by birth, as well as 


Frangois, and a pretty girl, he did not find this 
either difficult or disagreeable. Victoriue, a 
credulous and weak-minded girl, dazzled by the 
gallantry and attention of Monsieur Francois 
and still more won over by his promise to 
marry her, and take her to live in her own pro- 
vince when they should have amassed a little 
money, was soon completely under his guidance 
in every respect, and from this proceeded her 
feigned ignorance of who Isabelle's protector 
had been on the night of the fire at the theatre, 
and it was by his direction she likewise sup- 
pressed all mention of the many anxious hours 
De Montfort had passed in the gallery near the 
apartments of the baroness during her illness, 
and of the lively joy he evinced when she gave 
symptoms of returning convalescence. 



" Great God of Love, that with thy cruel darts 
Dost conquer greatest conquerors on ground, 
And sett'st thy kingdom in the captive hearts 
Of kings and kesars to thy service bound ; 
What glory or what guerdon hast thou found, 
In feeble ladies lyranning so sore, 
And adding anguish to the bitter wound 
With which their lives thou lanched'st long afore. 
By heaping storms of trouble daily on them more." 


IsABELLE was Hot able long to indulge in that 
solitude, which bitter chagrin and hopeless love 
made her so anxious to seek. Although a 
leaden disappointment weighed upon her heart, 
her returning health left her no plea to absent 


herself from her duties near the queen, and' 
soon, like many others, she was obliged to 
wear the mask of joy and gaiety when all was 
sad within. 

She heard that De Montfort's absence had 
been but of short duration, and that he was 
again in Paris, but as yet they had not met, and 
her eye vainly sought him in all the places of 
public and private resort. 

The Marquis de Cressy too, with the most 
unwearied perseverance, redoubled his atten- 
tions, making himself almost her shadow, not- 
withstanding all her coldness towards him, and 
the efforts that she made to shake him off. 

Disdain and a feeling nearly allied to terror 
had taken place of the commiseration and re- 
gret which his love, when first discovered, had 
awakened in her bosom, and she took every 
opportunity to shew him that his continued 
attentions were most hateful to her, while he, 
animated with new hope at finding that the 
circumstance of her being rescued at the 


theatre by De Montfort, of which every one 
in Paris was aware, had not tended to produce 
any reconciliation between them, persisted in 
his assiduities with increased pertinacity. 

One day, although more dispirited than usual, 
Isabelle found that she was expected to attend 
the Queen to a dress ball in the evening, and 
recollecting that she had broken the clasp of a 
diamond necklace which Marie Therese had be- 
stowed upon her, and which she wished to wear 
at this ball, she determined, as she was going to 
take an airing in her carriage, to go to the 
jewellers herself, and get it repaired. 

After giving it to the jeweller, with many in- 
junctions to finish it at once, and send it home, 
Isabelle was turning away to depart, when a locket 
lying on the counter, the identical counterfeit 
of the one she had so long worn, caught her 
eye, and taking it up, with much curiosity, she 
examined it, and inquired to whom it belonged. 

The jeweller, not at all surprised that the 
beauty of this little Venetian hijou had attracted 


her attention, replied, that it was the property 
of the dowager Marchioness de Cressy, who 
had left it with him to mend a spring, which 
she had accidentally broken. 

'* The workmanship is exquisite," added he ; 
*^ and although the locket is so small, it contains 
a beautiful miniature ; but so artfully concealed 
is the spring that opens it, that I would 
challenge any one to make a discovery of it, 
unless previously aware of its position.'^ 

So saying, the jeweller took up the locket, 
which Isabelle, with some trepidation, had laid 
down while he was speaking, and pressing an 
invisible spring beneath the ring through which 
the chain passed to which it was appended, it 
immediately flew open, and displayed a highly 
finished little miniature* of the Marquis de 

" The Marquis told me," continued the 
jeweller, " that there was but one other locket 
similar to this, made by the same artificer, 
who was a celebrated goldsmith at Venice.'^ 

F 3 


The blood left Isabelle's cheeks, and then 
tingled painfully to her throbbing temples. 

Was it — could it be possible that a miniature 
of the Marquis de Cressy had been so dearly 
prized by her, and was still in her pos- 
session ? 

Her eyes were rivetted on the miniature 
which lay open before her, as the thoughts 
passed through her mind. At this moment 
she perceived that she was not alone in the 
shop — some one else had entered — she raised 
her eyes and beheld De Montfort intently 
gazing upon her — he had perceived and re- 
cognised the miniature, and a deadly pang of 
jealousy had pierced to his heart's core. 

Isabelle forgot the miniature — all the world — 
on beholding him. It was the first time they 
had met since the night of the fire ; she only 
remembered that he was there — that he had 
saved her life and she could hardly speak, as 
she extended her little white ungloved hand to 
him, and for an instant a flush of joyful surprise 


crossed her still pale cheek — but it was only 
for an instant ; the chilling coldness of his de- 
meanor, as he scarcely touched her hand, acted 
like the stroke of the torpedo on her faculties. 
Could it be a reality ?— was it thus they met 
again ? An indistinct inquiry for her health 
as indistinctly answered, and they were both 
silent — she made a few steps towards the door, 
scarce knowing what she did, and he me- 
chanically handed her into her carriage, then 
slightly bowing without uttering another word 
he disappeared. 

To the coachman's inquiry of, whither he 
was to drive ? Isabelle, choking with suppressed 
sobs, could scarcly articulate the word ' Home,' 
while overcome by the discovery of the minia- 
ture ; and agitated by this short interview with 
De Montfort, so destructive to all the hopes 
which, in spite of his silence and absence, she 
had, almost unknown to herself, continued to 
indulge in for the last few weeks, she could 
with difficulty rally her faculties so far as to 


prevent herself from fainting. She arrived at 
the palace, and on alighting from the carriage, 
she flew to her own apartment, shut the door 
and turned the key in it, and unlocking the 
cabinet, took from thence the locket. 

An icy coldness pervaded her frame — a 
dazzling sensation obscured her sight — she 
sought for the secret spring which the jeweller 
had shewed her beneath the embossed ring — 
she pressed it and the locket flew open. 

There was a miniature —clouds encompassed 
her On every side — her hand trembled so vio- 
lently, she could scarcely hold the locket. 

At first all was indistinct — she could discover 
nothing but a dark shadow upon the ivory — 
she gazes on it — the mist is dispelled — the 
handsome features of a young cavalier are 
pourtrayed before her eyes — It is — no, it is not 
the Marqnis ! Heavens ! can it be ? she looks 
at it intently, her existence seems concentrated 
in that moment. Does her sight deceive her ? 
— is it a mockery, a delusion ? No — it is a 


reality — it is De Montfort — it is he himself — 
it is her husband ! 

The painter has represented him in the garb 
of a knight of the olden time — he looks noble 
and majestic as he did at the tournament. Yes, 
it is De Montfort — not the grave and repelling 
De Montfort she had just seen, but one whose 
eye is eloquent — whose smile is love. 

Isabelle flung herself upon the couch with 
a burst of tears, but they were not tears of 
sorrow, and now she saw inscribed, beneath the 
miniature, in letters of gold enamel, the name of 
Adhemar de Montfort^ and she pressed it again 
and again to her lips and to her heart. 

Yes — he, the cold, the careless, had once 
knelt at her feet — had once breathed to her the 
passionate vows of love, had sworn to her, that 
faith which he so unknowingly ratified after- 
wards at the altar. This vision of her heart's 
young affection was now identified with the all- 
absorbing love that filled her soul — she might 
think of De Montfort as he had once been to 


her, and dream that future days might recall 
h im to his first love. No, she could not be 
entirely unhappy while she recollected that his 
vows had once, with his own free will, been 
given to her, and her hand which he had 
scarcely deigned to touch that day, had once 
been wet with his tears, and covered with his 
kisses, on the night when they had last met in 
the church of the Salute. 

And then she recurred to the bunch of 
rosemary, and to the night visions inspired by 
those symbolical and charmed flowers ; " yes," 
she exclaimed, " yes, now indeed memory and 
undying love, have taken possession of my soul, 
and when least expected 1 have found him, and 
that magic mirror, it was then the form of De 
Montfort I saw ; but alas ! to what end did the 
gipsy so truly discover to me the secret of my 
love if De Montfort and I are to be for ever 
estranged. No, a kind heaven can not always 
will it to be thus." 

In such soliloquies did the lovely Isabelle in- 


dulge, until the time came for her attendance 
upon the queen. And De Montfort? he now 
had the solution of all, of her disdainful 
silence, her neglect of his letters, her determi- 
nation of not admitting him .to her presence. 
It was all plain before his eyes. She returned, 
oh agony to think it ! the love of De Cressy, 
and should he still seek for explanations ? 
never! Never would he write to her again. 
He would leave Paris and go into Normandy. 
Madman! why had he come back to it so 
soon ? why ? Alas ! it was because he could 
not tear her image from his heart. But he 
was determined now — he never would run the 
risk of meeting her again, he would throw up 
his place at court, and bury himself entirely in 
the country. 

That very evening he sent in his resignation, 
and without giving any explanation to his dis- 
appointed father, except that of detesting Paris 
and being weary of the life of a courtier, with- 
out even waiting for a reply from the king, he 


ordered his horse to be saddled, and telling his 
valet to pack up his things and follow him, left 
the hateful city, and travelling day and night at 
full speed, as if hoping by escaping as quickly 
as he could from the scene of his misery, to 
calm the violent agitation of his spirits, arrived 
at his chateau in Normandy. 

But here in his chateau, he found no panaceae 
for his regrets. The place was no longer the 
same neglected old place as when he had last 
seen it. The hand of taste was visible in the 
distribution of the furniture, in the ornament 
of the rooms, in the arrangement of the gardens 
and pleasure grounds. Even in his rapid pro- 
gress through his demesne, and notwithstand- 
ing all his pre-occupation, the newly built 
tenements, and improved look of the peasant^s 
cottages struck his eye, so different from their 
former dilapidated condition. 

The old servants who had known him since 
a boy, were garrulous in praise of their young 
mistress, lamenting her long absence, and in- 


quiring when they might hope to see her 

Pierrot, the old gardener, had been sedulous 
in his care to keep the gardens trim and taste- 
ful as she had arranged them, and while he ac- 
companied the baron through the parterres and 
alleys, he fondly loitered in the grotto of shells 
which madame had adorned with her own 
hands, and paused to twine the branches of a 
rose-bush over her favourite bower. And then 
when De Montfort by chance turned his steps 
towards the suite of apartments which he re- 
membered his mother to have occupied when 
he was a boy, the housekeeper was at his side 
to point out to him the little boudoir where 
Madame la Baronne, and Mademoiselle Eulalie 
were used to spend their mornings, and to 
shew him the beautiful embroidery which their 
skilful fingers had wTought, and the paintings 
done by Isabelle herself, which hung upon the 

De Montfort shut himself up entirely in the 


chateau. He had not even the society of his 
aunt, the Baroness d'Anglures, or that of his 
cousins. They had left that part of the coun- 
try much about the time in which he had made 
his hurried journey thither, and indeed they 
had probably crossed him on the road, as they 
were en route for Paris. 

A deep melancholy had for some months pre- 
vious taken possession of the pretty Eulalie. 
Pierre Delamare* had left the neighbourhood 
without ever coming to any explanation with 
the young girl. Various were the surmises and 
reports in circulation concerning him, and al- 
though but few of them reached the ear of 
Eulalie, still she heard sufficient to keep her in 
that state of uncertainty so withering to the 
heart of the young and gay. Her spirits left 
her, she became pale and thin, and her mother, 
much alarmed for her health, came to the de- 
termination of going with her daughters to 
Paris, hoping that variety and change of scene 
might re-animate her drooping child. 


To this resolution, the baroness had in a 
great measure been led by the advice of the 
good Abbe de Saje. He saw with pain the 
ravages that some hidden canker was making in 
the scarcely matured bloom of the once gay little 
Eulalie, and that his favourite Josephine like- 
wise looked pale and sad, and he thought that 
a total change from the quiet pursuits of a 
country life, to the ever varying bustle of the 
great city of Paris, would, under the care of so 
watchful a mother, be most conducive in restor- 
ing them to their former cheerfulness. 

Josephine had in reality at last penetrated 
the secret of Eulalie, and too generous and 
good to think of herself, or to rejoice at the 
improbability of Henri Desguey's ever making 
any impression upon the pre-occupied heart of 
her dear little sister, she grieved to think that 
her young affections should have been given to 
one, whom she more than suspected had put it 
out of his own power ever to make her his 


Such was the position in which those young 
girls were placed when they arrived in Paris, 
Eulalie, pining like a blighted rose-bud ; Jose_ 
phine, grieving for her beloved sister, while the 
good, but not very clear-sighted Baroness d'An- 
glures, secretly wept at not being able to dis- 
cover the cause of the dejection of her dear 
children. But a short time was lost before they 
sought out Isabelle, and as she clasped her little 
favourite in her arms, the languid eye of Eu- 
lalie looked so bright, and her smile was so 
much akin to that of former days, that Jose- 
phine could scarcely put bounds to her rapture 
at the sight. 

In listening to all that Josephine had to say 
*o her in private about her little sister, Isabelle 
almost forgot to think of her own perplexities 
and unhappiness. That Pierre Delamare had 
taken priest's orders, Josephine had learned 
from an authentic source the day preceding 
that on which they left Normandy. Madame 
d'Anglures had not yet heard it, and indeed 


she vpas entirely ignorant of Eulalie*s attach- 
ment to him. 

How to break it to poor Eulalie, was the 
point now to be considered, yet that done, and 
the first shock over, Josephine was sure, and 
Isabelle agreed with her in thinking, that 
Eulahe's proper pride and natural good sense 
would enable her after a time, to get over the dis- 
appointment, and that her present uncertainty, 
now hoping, now despairing, was much more 
likely to destroy all chance of her recovering her 
health and happiness. 

"And does Eulalie know that you have dis- 
covered the cause of her melancholy ?'' de- 
manded Isabelle, during one of those secret 

" Yes,^^ replied Josephine ; '^she knew it for 
some weeks before we left Normandy, for I told 
her so. At first she hid. her face and was silent, 
then she confessed her love with much reluct- 
ance and many tears." 

" And what said she of the cruel conduct of 
Delamare?" asked Isabelle. 


" She tried to exonerate him from any por- 
tion of blame/' replied Josephine, *' by declar- 
ing that hi8 inexplicable conduct must have 
entirely arisen from the reports circulated in the 
neighbourhood that she was to give her hand to 
Henri Desguey, the provost's son, (here the 
colour heightened a little on the cheek of Jose- 
phine), and that perhaps the unintentional 
appearance on her part, of flirting now and then 
with Henri, had corroborated those reports, 
which, together with the impossibility of Pierre's 
finding out the real state of her heart, had pre- 
vented him from coming to any explanation 
with her, and had made him leave the country 
in disgust." 

" My poor Eulalie .' how has she deceived 
herself!" exclaimed Isabelle. 

" It was in vain that I attempted to combat 
this sort of self condemnation, and to shew her 
how easy it was for Pierre to find out the truth 
of those surmises, either by frankly and openly 
avowing his love to her, and asking for an an- 


8wer from her own lips, or by entreating me 
with whom he had once been on terms of bro- 
therly intimacy, to tell him if there was indeed 
any truth in those reports." 

" And what said she to this," demanded Isa- 

" To all these representations, and to every 
thing else I could urge," replied Josephine, 
*' Eulalie only replied by tears and sighs, ex- 
claiming, that if fault there was, it must be all 
on her side, as it was impossible Pierre could 
ever act in an ungenerous or unkind manner." 

" You knew not of his having taken priest's 
orders then ?" said Isabelle. 

" No," replied Josephine, " had I done so, I 
should have certainly told her all, and now we 
must seek the first favourable opportunity to do 

" Did she tell you if there was any difference, 
any increased coldness, in Pierre Delamare's 
manner towards her latterly ?" inquired Isabelle. 

" On my putting the question to my poor 


little sister,'^ replied Josephine ; " she burst 
into fresh floods of tears, and calling me her 
dear Josephine, said she would confide in me 
entirely. Yes, she owned Pierre's manner was 
changed — sometimes he would start up and 
fly away from her, next moment he would press 
her hand and look at her with passionate ten- 
derness. YeSj she knew he loved her, though he 
had never told her so in words, and the two or 
three last times they met, he had spoken to her 
of the cold hearts and inconstancy of woman, 
and of a nunnery being a refuge from every 
disappointment. ' You see Josephine,' she said, 
io a voice interrupted by sobs, * it was jealousy, 
it was all my own fault, he thought I loved 
another, and if Pierre has left me for ever, I 
will go into a convent.' " 

" It is plain," rejpined Isabelle, ** that he had 
made up his mind at the time to become a 
priest. It is not religion — it is ambition that 
has got the better of love, and his godfather, 
the archbishop's promises have prevailed, and 


now he would gladly tear our dear little Eulalie 
from her friends and the world, and immure her 
in a convent ! No, it must not be ; when her 
eyes are open to the heartlessness and selfish- 
ness of his conduct, our friendship must con- 
sole her and restore her to herself." 




He stablishes the strong, restores the weak, 
Reclaims the wand'rer, binds the broken heart, 
And arm'd himself in panoply complete 
Of heavenly temper, furnishes with arms 
Bright as his own. — Cowper. 

For three or four days Isabelle and Josephine 
arose, with the intention of discovering to Eula- 
lie, the impassable barrier that was placed be- 
tween herself and her lover, but her fragile 
frame seemed so unable to bear any sudden 
shock, that they both trembled at the explana- 
tion they were going to make. 

" Dear Josephine, it must be done, and at 


once/^ said Isabelle ; " we will try to elevate 
the mind of Eulalie — to make her feel that she 
is called upon to make a great sacrifice ; I will 
then undertake to reveal to her that Pierre has 
entered the church. To-morrow I will take you 
and Eulalie to hear the most celebrated preacher 
in Paris. Madame d'Anglures has a cold and 
cannot accompany us — it is so much the better. 
I will arrano^e with her that you are both to 
pass the entire day with me, as I am then going 
to take you an excursion into the country. Do 
you consent? will you leave it all to me ?'' 

"Do I consent? most willingly dear friend," 
said Josephine, embracing her with tears in her 

They parted, and Isabelle went in search of 
Madame d'Anglures, who immediately agreed 
that the young girls should spend the following 
day with Isabelle. 

The Abbe Bossuet, now in the zenith of his 

popularity, was at this time the favourite preacher 

in Paris. Crowds attended him wherever he 

G 2 


went, and it was almost impossible for a stranger 
to find standing room in the church where he 
preached. By going very early, however, Isa- 
belle and her young friends were fortunate in 
obtaining places sufficiently near the pulpit to 
enable them to see and hear him to the greatest 
advantage. They were at once astonished, over- 
whelmed, and melted, by his eloquence, but 
particularly Eulalie, who from the state of her 
mind and spirits, was the most susceptible of 
devotional impressions. She spoke of him after 
they left the church w ith enthusiasm, and would 
willingly have listened to him the entire day. 

After the service was over, Isabelle led her 
young friends to the gardens of the Thuilleries, 
those beautiful gardens being then, as now, the 
favourite resort of every class of people in Paris, 
and taking them into a shady avenue that 
seemed to be deserted by the crowd which 
thronged the more pubHc walks, turned the con- 
versation on the private history of the Abbe, 
which was the more easily done, as his sermon 


was still the theme of Eulalie's enthusiastic 

After a few turns, when they had taken their 
seats on a stone bench beneath the shade of a 
large linden tree, Isabelle said : " There is 
something romantic in the history of the Abbe's 
early life, and of his entrance into the church, 
did you ever happen to hear any of the particu- 
lars of it?'' 

" Never ;" replied Eulahe, roused from the 
languor now so habitual to her, to something 
like her former energy by the Abbe's sermon, 
" do dear Isabelle, tell me all you know about 

" In early youth," rejoined Isabelle, " he was 
betrothed to the beautiful and amiable Made- 
moiselle Desvieux, whom he passionately loved, 
and by whom he was as dearly beloved in return. 
Friends and fortune smiled upon a union which 
was only postponed until young Bossuet should 
have finished his studies ; but in the mean time, 
the talents which he displayed, and the over- 


powering eloquence which he possessed, seemed 
to point 01 t the church, as the profession best 
suited to bring to perfection, and to be adorned 
and benefitted by such high gifts. Bossuet 
withstood for some time the advice and per- 
suasions of his relatives and friends, but when 
the lovely and high-minded Mademoiselle Des- 
vieux, his intended bride, stifling all selfish and 
worldly considerations, and looking only to the 
eternal as well as the temporal welfare and 
honour of her beloved, added her entreaties to 
theirs, the young Bossuet at last consented, and 
taking the vows of celibacy, bade adieu to the 
pomps and vanities of the world, becoming as 
you see, the brightest ornament of the church." 

** What strength of mind Mademoiselle 
Desvieux possessed," exclaimed Eulalie, almost 
sorrowfully, while Josephine, terrified at the 
experiment that she saw Isabella was going to 
make on the feelings of her dear little sister, 
scarcely dared to breathe. 

" And you, dear Eulalie — do you not think 


you could have done the same?" said Isabelle, 

" I ?" replied Eulalie, and she looked almost 
terrified and rose from the seat. 

** Yes, you,'^ said Isabelle, gently detaining 

" See, how charming the day is, and we are 
quite alone — let us sit here a little longer, and 
talk the matter over. Mademoiselle Desvieux 
must doubtless have felt many a severe pang 
at being, for ever, separated in this world from 
the man she loved — but she hears his name 
mentioned with applause, she dwells upon his 
fame - she reverences his calling — she listens 
to, she reads his admirable discourses — she 
knows, that, though disunited on earth, they 
will meet in Heaven, and that it is to her alone, 
that he owes all that he now is.'* 

"It is beautiful!'' said Eulalie, with enthu- 
siasm, and Josephine thought in her own mind, 
" How unlike to him is Pierre !" 

"Do you not think?" continued Isabelle, 


" let US suppose, for the sake of argument — let 
us fancy that you yourself Eulalie, love some 
one very passionately." 

" That I love some one very passionately ?" 
said Eulalie, turning pale. 

" Yes ; just for example let us say — who 
shall I say ? — suppose we say your cousin 
Pierre, — Yes, we will say that you are very 
fond of your cousin Pierre Delamare — you 
know you told me that as children you were 
always together — well then, let us suppose that 
you were engaged to him, and that he displayed 
such talents, such eloquence as the Abbe Bos- 
suet. Do you not think — would you not 
rather - " 

"O Heavens! — Pierre has then taken the 
vows?" exclaimed Eulalie, and she fell back 
senseless on the bench. 

Isabelle was thunderstruck at the startling 
and unforeseen effect this conversation had 
upon Eulalie. She had not contemplated her 
drawing so rapid a conclusion — she only 


wished to instil into her mind at first, the pos- 
sibihty of her being called upon to make so 
great a sacrifice ; and then intended, when they 
were in the carriage on their country excursion, 
gently to reveal to her the whole truth. The 
frightened Josephine flew to a fountain hard 
by, and endeavoured to take up a sufficiency of 
the crystal element in the hollow of her hand 
to throw on the face of her little sister, wetting 
her handkerchief well at the same time, and 
placing it on her forehead, while Isabelle, sup- 
porting her head, looked eagerly around for 
some person who would have the kindness to 
assist in removing her to the carriage, which 
waited for them at the entrance into the gar- 
dens — no one however, was to be seen in this 
secluded avenue. Seeing that Eulalie still con- 
tinued in a faint, notwithstanding the applica- 
tion of the water, Isabelle was on the point of 
sending Josephine to seek for assistance, when 
she perceived the Marquis de Cressy enter the 
avenue by a cross alley at no great distance 

6 3 


from them, walking slowly and with his eyes 
cast down, apparently in a deep study. 

The marquis was in reality, at that moment, 
meditating upon Isabelle and upon a commu- 
nication which the Marchioness de Varville, 
whom he had been escorting in a different part 
of the gardens, had just made him, namely, 
that Isabelle's secret liking for a husband who 
detested her, was the cause of her indifference 
towards him and every one else. The mar- 
chioness hating Isabelle, and greedy of admi- 
ration, wished, if possible, to fix the handsome 
De Cressy in her own diminished train. 

To keep Isabelle divided from De Montfort, 
was not sufficient— De Cressy must likewise be 
detached, and this day she had made a first 
step in this her secondary, but much desired 
project, by endeavouring to impress on him 
the utter hopelessness of his pursuit — but the 
result of it was, as we shall see, far different 
from what she had looked for. 

De Cressy, gay, careless and inconsiderate, 


had not a bad heart. The levity and indul- 
gence of the age in which he lived, together 
with the very peculiar position, in which Isa- 
bella was placed, had induced him early to form, 
and unremittingly to pursue, the plan of trying 
to win her affections — to separate her from De 
Montfort, and after a divorce to make her his 
own wife. But this insinuation of the Mar- 
chioness de Varville, seemed all at once to open 
his eyes to the real feelings of Isabelle, and to 
recal to his mind a thousand little circumstances 
before unmarked, which confirmed it ; and in- 
dignation against De Montfort, and pity for 
Isabelle, were, at this moment, the predominant 
sentiments of his soul. 

He had just entered, as we have said before, 
the avenue, when raising his eyes from the 
ground, he beheld the group of females, and 
immediately recognizing the Baroness de Mont- 
fort to be one of them, eagerly hastened to 
offer his assistance. Eulalie was just recover- 
ing when he approached, and she unclosed her 


eyes as he was bending down over her with 
much commiseration and admiration too, for 
her petite form looked exquisitely beautiful, as 
in order to give her air, Isabelle had untied her 
scarf and taken off her hood, allowing her 
luxuriant tresses to fall negligently over her 

Eulalie was in too much despair, even to 
observe the marquis, and her evident affliction 
only increased the interest with which De 
Cressy gazed upon her, while Isabelle, hastily 
tying on her scarf and replacing her hood, be- 
sought him to aid in supporting her to the 
carriage. This he willingly did, and hurrying 
through the most private egress from the gar- 
dens, they found the equipage, which Jose- 
phine, who had run on before, had spied out 
and beckoned to approach, ready to receive 
them. Rapidly informing the marquis, as he 
was about to hand her into the carriage, that 
those young girls were her cousins, daughters 
of the Baroness d'Anglures, Isabelle desired 


the coachman to drive to the palace, where she 
and Josephine lavished the tenderest attentions, 
that sisterly affection and friendship could be- 
stow upon the unhappy Eulalie. 

The first shock of this discovery being over 
and a week having passed away, Eulalie dis- 
played more calmness and energy of mind, 
than her sister and friend had reckoned upon. 
She saw the die was cast — Pierre and she were 
separated for ever. Neither could she in her 
own heart, entirely exonerate him from dupli- 
city of conduct — why had he not told her his 
wishes, his intention — perhaps she might, (and 
here she sighed deeply). — Ah ! no, she never 
could have had the courage of Mademoiselle Des- 
vieux, and then if it should have been because 
he thought she loved another. The idea was 
dreadful — yes, the world had lost every charm 
— what was there worth living for now ? — why 
should not she retire from it likewise ? 

Isabelle and Josephine listened to her with 
the utmost sympathy, and the former, kissing her 


affectionately, said : " My sweet little Eulalie, 
promise me you will wait one year before you 
decide — you will not refuse me this ?" 

Eulalie wept and promised, and Isabella 
thought that many things might happen in one 

Meantime, the Marquis de Cressy had dis- 
covered that his mother and the Baroness 
d'Anglures, had been old friends and school- 
fellows, having been educated in the same con- 
vent. He contrived immediately, that a re- 
newal of their former intimacy should take 
place, and Isabelle already began to build upon 
the future for Eulalie. 

The anxiety of Isabelle to occupy, to amuse, 
to distract the thoughts of Eulalie from dwelling 
upon the past, was of use to herself, by giving 
her a constant occupation. She hurried her 
little friend from one place of resort to another, 
shewed her all the works of art in the city, all 
the beauties of nature in the surrounding coun- 
try, all the enchantments of Versailles. She 


told of the tilts — of the tournaments— of the 
grand dresses of the knights, and called upon 
the Marquis de Cressy, who frequently, as it 
appeared by mere accident, crossed their path, 
to aid in her narrations. This, he the more 
willingly exerted all his wit and talent to do, 
from suspecting that the paleness and fragile 
delicacy of Eulalie arose from some secret dis- 
appointment, and, without being aware that 
Cupid was at this very moment meditating an 
inroad upon his own heart, felt all his sympa- 
thies awakened for the young girl. The very 
smiles that Isabelle bestowed on him when he 
expressed an interest in her little protegee^ so 
different from her late haughty coldness, made 
him see but too plainly that she would much 
rather his attentions were directed there, than 
towards herself. 

Many things combined to make Isabelle look 
upon him with more amenity of late, to her 
discovery of the real donor of the locket, so 
long the mystery of her existence, by the minia- 


ture which it contained, was now added, a clear 
perception of the interest with which the Mar- 
quis regarded her pretty httle companion, and 
she began to think that a deeper feeling than 
mere compassion for the drooping state of her 
health, might be the result of his eagerness to 
please and amuse her. 

The Marquis on his side, could not be blind 
to the trouble Isabelle took to set off her little 
favourite to the best advantage in his eyes, and 
this, united with the recollection of circum- 
stances unnoted before, which had occurred since 
the return of De Montfort from abroad, and 
which now flashed across his mind, bringing 
every day, more and more a conviction, and at 
first it was a painful one, that the Marchioness 
de Varville's assertions were true, gave a final 
death blow to all his long cherished hopes. 

The gay, light-hearted Marquis, however, was 
not at all likely to break his heart for any 
woman, and although he had pursued Isabelle 
with much pertinacity, while he thought her 


heart was free, he now found that instead 
of fretting at the discovery he had made, it was 
much better philosophy to attempt to console 
the pretty Eulalie, whose eye he observed al- 
ready brightened whenever he approached, and 
it must be owned, that his frequent visits had 
something to do with her improved health and 
spirits, although she secretly vowed since Pierre 
lived no longer for her, never to think of any 
one else — a resolution which she was quite satis- 
fied she should most religiously keep. 

Just at this period too, an incident occurred, 
which helped not a little to renovate the droop- 
ing spirits of Eulalie and to turn her thoughts 
for a time into another channel. 

She was standing one day at the window, 
looking out into the street at a procession which 
was just passing, and the Marquis de Cressy, 
who had been paying a morning visit, was lean- 
ing on the back of a chair beside her, endea- 
vouring to engage her in conversation, while 
Madame d'Anglures and Josephine were em- 


ploying themselves at their embroidery frames. 
Suddenly the notes of a cornemuse were heard 
beneath the window ; it was but indifferently 
played, but it soon ceased, and the voice of a 
young peasant girl was heard in its stead, sing- 
ing in soft monotonous tones, an old Breton 
ballad, while a boy at her side, holding the now 
silent cornemuse in his hand, joined his voice to 
hers in the refrain. 

Eulalie was immediately attracted by the 
simple strain, and listened attentively while the 
following verses were sung : 

" O if I go to the wars afar, 

Whither I'm bound to go — 
Where shall I leave my gentle love, 
Where my young bride bestow ?'* 

Then stepped forth his elder brother — 
" By the love you bear me I pray, 

Let me place her within my daughter's bower, 
Noble damsels are they." 

He scant had ridden from the hall, 

Scant through the portal wide ; 
When young and old with jibe and jeer, 

Beset the weeping bride. 


•Come doff thy robe of the crimBon silk, 
And this russet garment wear ; 
For thou must hie thee away to the landes. 
To keep our sheepfolds there." 

For seven long years the poor young bride 

Could nothing do but weep ; 
But after that she sweetly sang. 

Sang whilst she kept the sheep. 

And now a brave knight returning home, 

From wars in a far countrye ; 

Thus far had they proceeded in the ballad, 
when Eulalie, who had been attentively observ- 
ing the performers, uttered an exclamation of 
joyful surprise, and springing forward to meet 
Isabelle^ who at this moment entered the room, 
exclaimed : 

" It is Angehque! — our poor little Angelique 
whom we met in Normandy- but she is so pale 
and thin, and Jean is pale and thin, and Mador 
looks meagre and starved, and the poor blind 
old man — where is he ?" 


If the marquis thought Eulalie looked lovely 
and interesting in her languor and dejection, he 
could not but own that her beauty was much 
increased by the bright joy and sympathy 
which the sight of those poor peasants called 
up, and while Madame d'Anglures sent the 
servant to inquire about them and bring them 
into the hall, he listened with pleased attention 
to Eulalie's animated account of who they were, 
where she had seen them, and of the poor blind 

The children were brought into the hall, and 
Angelique w^ept with joy at finding into whose 
presence they were so unexpectedly introduced. 

Their story was a short and simple one. 
They had travelled about with the old man, 
who seemed to have plenty of money, from 
place to place, until about two months ago 
when he was suddenly taken ill at a lonely 
cabaret, where they intended to rest for the 
night, about three leagues from Paris. All 
assistance, or any remedy they were able to 


procure was of no avail. They were far from 
medical aid, and he died in a few hours, 
being speechless from the time he was first 
taken ill. 

They were sure he must have had money about 
him, but what became of it they could not tell. 
At first, they were in too much grief to give 
the subject a thought, and when they did, the 
people of the house said, that they had scarcely 
found sufficient in his leathern purse to bury 
him ; thus they were thrown houseless and 
alone upon the wide world. The only thing 
they had in their possession, belonging to their 
beloved grandfather, was the old eornemuse on 
which Jean had learnt to play imperfectly, and 
in the capacity of wandering ballad singers, 
they had managed to pick up a few sous here 
and there, but they were frequently without a 
shelter and often hungry. 

Poor Mador, their little dog, was the only 
friend they had — he would never leave them. 
Once, seeing how starved he looked, although 


it made their hearts bleed to part with him, 
they gave him to the children at a farm house 
where they had received a night's lodging, who 
promised to take care of him and treat him 
well, but in a week after he had joined them 
again, having got away and followed in their 

Angelique wept while she related this sad 
history, and Jean, who was much sobered in 
his appearance since they had last seen him, 
kept his eyes fixed upon the ground with a de- 
jected air. All Angelique's earrings and 
holiday clothes had been long since sold and 
their poverty stricken garb suited well with 
their meagre looks. 

Their compassionate auditors scarcely heard 
their little story out, before they sent them, 
with Mador, who looked as meagre as them- 
selves, to the buttery, and after a short dis- 
cussion, it was arranged that Angelique should 
be enrolled amongst the household servants 
and after a time, if found capable of the 


situation, advanced to the dignity of waiting 
maid to the young ladies, while the Marquis, 
willing to do a pleasure to Eulalie, proposed 
hat Jean should have a place in his own stable, 
and that Mador — but here Eulalie interrupted 
him with so bright a smile of thanks as made 
him mentally ejaculate, ' What a lovely little 
creature,' telling him at the same time, that 
Mador was to be her own particular care. 
Thus all was settled, and the poor ballad-singers 
were soon made aware of the wonderful change 
in their situation. Jean, it is true, looked 
rather wistfully at Mador, when he heard 
that he was to remain with Angelique, how- 
ever he consoled himself in a degree by 
thinking, that while the Baroness continued to 
stay in Paris, he would try and visit him every 



Nor peace nor ease the heart can know, 

Which like the needle true, 
Turns at the touch of joy or woe, 

But, turning, trembles too. 


It seems a strange anomaly in some human 
hearts, and yet it is one, if we use our powers 
of observation, that we may see passing before 
us every day. We mean that of being sus- 
ceptible of the tenderest impressions, at the 
very moment they are smarting from the 
severest of disappointments. We do not say 
that it is thus with every one, but it is most 


certainly very often the case, and perhaps never 
more frequently than when a secret sympathy 
— a compassionate thought that says, *^ she has 
had a bitter disappointment and so have 1 — ah ! 
I know how to feel for her," presents itself to 
the mind. And thus does love often try, by 
sharpening another arrow, to cure the wound 
that his former shaft has inflicted ; and thus 
did the Marquis begin to feel with respect to 
the pretty Eulalie. Love, which had before 
blinded him, now rendered him clear sighted, 
and he perceived that from the beginning he 
had had no chance of Isabelle. Neither was 
he so mortified, on finding that it was De Mont- 
fort she loved, as he would have been had she 
preferred the Duke de Coaslin, or any other of 
her numerous admirers, to him. Perhaps, he 
was even surprised at himself, for enduring the 
discovery with so much philosophy, but so it 
was, and how can we pretend to fathom all the 
recesses of another's heart, when we often remain 
VOL. n. H 


for ever ignorant of all the turnings and 
windings of our own ? 

After a few weeks' longer sojourn in Paris, 
Madame d* Anglures proposed to return into 
the country. She persuaded Isabelle to get 
leave from her royal mistress to accompany 
them thither for a short time ; and, hearing the 
Marquis say that he was going to visit an uncle 
in a neighbouring province, gave him likewise 
an invitation to join their circle at her chateau, 
which he willingly accepted, this being the 
grand point he wished to gain, in proposing to 
visit this old uncle, whom his mother never 
could prevail on him to go and see before. 

Isabelle's heart throbbed at the very idea of 
going into the neighbourhood of the Chateau 
de Beaumont, where she knew De Montfort still 
remained ; and hope, ever ready with her illusive 
dreams, began immediately to erect anew a 
thousand airy castles — ' De Montfort was 
there — perhaps they might meet.* Arrived in 
Normandy, the consciousness of his vicinity 



to her gave a new charm to every well re- 
membered scene. She longed, but did not dare, 
to venture into the grounds of De Beaumont. 
Already she had spent three days at the 
Baroness d' Anglures' and the name of De 
Montfort had not been once mentioned, but 
each morning she had arisen with the dawn? 
and, accompanied by Eulalie, who was her 
constant companion, had walked to a point at 
some distance, from whence she could espy the 
blue smoke ^curling around the distant towers 
of the Chateau de Beaumont, and sometimes 
she would think of the peaceful days she had 
passed within its walls and sigh on recollecting 
how little the image of De Montfort then 
troubled her repose. 

*' Ah why did he not stay with his uncle at 
Constantinople,'^ she would mentally ejaculate 
" and leave my mind free and unfettered as it 
was then ?" 

The fourth day arrived, and the Baron de 
Montfort having heard, by this time, that his 

H 2 


aunt, for whom he had a high respect, was re- 
turned to her chateau, hastened over to see her. 
With the exception of the Abbe de Saye, he 
found no one with her in the salon, the young 
people having gone out early on some excur- 
sion. The baron looked pale and low spirited, 
and Madame d'Anglures did not dare to tell 
him that Isabelle had accompanied her from 
Paris, she merely regretted that her daughters 
should be absent as she wished much to pre- 
sent them to him. His abode in Paris, and his 
cousins Hving always in the country, had made 
them strangers to each other, since they were 
quite children, but if he would come and spend 
a few days with them, and she proposed it 
should be on the morrow when she expected a 
party to dinner, it would give her more pleasure 
than she could say. 

It was impossible the baron could refuse an 
invitation so kindly given, and from so near a 
relative, and one that he really esteemed, and 
although he had a strong disinclination to give 


Up his misanthropic solitude, still there were 
many things that he wished to hear of — perhaps 
a lurking desire to hear the name of Isabelle 
mentioned, was his most powerful inducement, 
and so he consented to come. Although he 
paid a pretty long visit to his aunt, who de- 
tained him with different particulars relating to 
her sejour at Paris, hoping all the time, that 
the walking party might return before he went, 
they did not appear, and the baron left the 
chateau in perfect ignorance of every thing re- 
lating to Tsabelle. 

Isabelle heard with much disappointment 
that De Montfort had been with Madame d'An- 
glures during their absence ; nevertheless, when 
she understood that he was to dine there on the 
following day, she thought perhaps it was best, 
that their first meeting should be in a crowd, 
particularly when she elicited from Madame 
d'Anglures, that her own name had not been 
once alluded to during his visit— all the country 


neighbours of the baroness were invited, and it 
was to be a large party. 

Josephine and Eulalie were dying to see De 
Montfort — a man who could treat so beauti- 
ful a creature as their dear Isabelle, with indif- 
ference, must, in their opinion, resemble the 
frightful ogre of a fairy tale ; and it was in vain 
their mother told them, to the contrary, — they 
would not beheve her. 

Of what Isabelle thought of him, they were 
entirely ignoi^ant, as they had never ventured 
even to mention his name to her. 

Isabelle was so bewildered at the idea of 
meeting De Montfort on the morrow, that she 
felt incapable of attending to any conversation, 
or of giving a coherent answ^er when appealed 
to for her opinion of the preparations the 
young people immediately began to make for 
the approaching fete, which their mother had 
kept in reserve until now, as an agreeable sur- 
prise. What Isabelle had most ardently wished 
for, now that it approached, almost filled her 


with terror, the thousand little plans that she 
had formed, that she had dreamed of since the 
discovery of the miniature, melted into air — 
yet was there an excess of pleasure mingled 
with this terror. Pleading fatigue from her 
walk, she retired to her own apartment ; there, 
she took the locket from her bosom where it 
had hung ever since — opened it — looked at the 
speaking likeness of De Montfort as a miser 
does at his secret treasure, kissed it passion- 
ately, and then hid it again, as if afraid that the 
bright sunbeams, which glanced into her room, 
should espy it. What would De Montfort think, 
what would he say on finding her at the cha- 
teau ? But what signified it, he would be there, 
she should behold him again, no coldness on 
his part should deter her from talking to him 
of the night at the theatre. Ah ! had he not 
loved her once ? could any future conduct of 
his, erase that dear remembrance from her 
mind ? None, it was the cordial that kept her 
heart from breaking. 


The hour for the assembling of the convives 
at the chateau of Madame d'Anglures was ar- 

With a fluttering heart, Isabelle watched the 
opening of the door, as guest after guest was 
ushered into the salon— they were all old ac- 
quaintances. Isabelle had received their greet- 
ings, but she looked in vain for De Montfort, 
he was not amongst them. 

After waiting for some time, the Baroness 
d'Anglures, inwardly much displeased, led the 
way to the salle a manger, while Isabelle, terri- 
fied lest the baron should have discovered her 
sojourn at the chateau, and absented himself on 
that account, notwithstanding her usual self- 
command, could stiarcely control her feelings. 

They were all seated at the dinner table, 
when the baron made his appearance. He ap- 
proached his aunt, by whom a seat was re- 
served for him, and making, in a low voice, 
what Isabelle considered must be a satisfactory 
apology, by the smile with which it was re- 


ceived, bowed gracefully to the rest of the 
company, most of whom he knew, and placed 
himself beside Madame d'Anglures. 

It was not until after he was seated, that he 
recognized Isabelle, who was nearly opposite 
to him. She sat beside the Abbe de Saye, and 
was looking very pale, with a timid air and 
downcast eyes. Her courage had forsaken her 
as De Montfort entered the room, and she 
dreaded lest he might feel as if a plot had been 
laid for him. Nevertheless, when she raised 
her eyes, and perceived his look of joyful sur- 
prise, her colour slightly heightened, and a 
pleased expression played about her beautiful 
mouth, as she returned his salutation. 

It was, however, with the greatest difficulty 
that she kept her place at table, and feigned to 
eat a little of the many viands which the good 
abbe recommended her to partake of, as they 
were handed round. 

*' This perdreau aux truffes is admirable, and 
this mauviette au gratin delicious," exclaimed 

H 3 


he, " but you do not eat any thing my dear 
child, I have not seen you before, since your 
abode in Paris, and methinks the air there has 
taken away both your appetite and colour ; you 
looked as blooming as a young Hebe >?\'hen you 
left this. Ah ! those courts are sad places, 
their pleasures undermine both health and 
spirits ; but if you persevere in your good be- 
ginning of rising with the lark, and breathing 
the pure air of our hills and valleys, as my 
dear little Eulalie tells me you have done in her 
company those some mornings, you will soon 
regain all your former vivacity and good looks, 
I have no doubt." 

Thus did the old abbe run on, while enjoy- 
ing the good dinner Madame d^Anglures had 
provided, and Isabelle secretly rejoiced that she 
had the loquacious kind-hearted old man be- 
side her, whose unremitting endeavours to en- 
tertain her, prevented the necessity of her 
talking much herself. 

Once only she had the courage to look over at 


the baron, who appeared to occupy himself 
alternately with Madame d'Anglures and his 
cousin Eulalie, between whom he was seated, 
and then she observed that he looked much 
paler and thinner than he had done when he 
so triumphantly carried off the best prizes at 
the tournament. 

" Alas ! he is not well," thought she, and her 
eyes filled with tears. At that very moment the 
baron turned his full gaze upon her, and she 
felt the blood rush to her temples, to her fingers 
ends, and as suddenly retreat. Her confusion 
however, passed entirely unnoticed save by 

It was a merry party. The provost's voice 
was heard above the rest, discussing the affairs 
of state with a neighbouring viscount, who had 
not been at court for forty years, while his 
pretty daughters Leonore and Adele conversed 
in softer murmurs with the viscount's sons. 
Henri Desguey seemed to have transferred his 
attentions to the happy looking Josephine, but 


was in reality asking a thousand questions 
about Eulalie, and the other guests were dis- 
cussing various country matters, between the 
pauses of their knives and forks. 

Isabelle tried to give all her attention to an 
account the good abbe was giving her, of an 
excursion he had made in his youth, when in 
the army, to the valley of Argeles and the 
mountains surrounding it ; but her answers to 
some questions he put to her, were so distrait 
that at first he felt a secret chagrin at her ap- 
parent absence of mind, but upon recollecting 
that the Baron de Montfort sat opposite to her, 
he excused her, and thought within himself, 
" poor child, how pitiable is her situation ! to 
be so lovely, and yet to be united to a man 
who flies from her and cannot endure her. — 
Truly, I wish she were the lady abbess of some 
neighbouring convent ; how much happier she 
would be, and what good she would do, for she 
is kind and charitable as an angel V 

In the evening, a numerous addition to the 


party made them a crowded assembly. Chance 
placed Isabelle in a position near enough to 
De Montfort to address him. She summoned 
up all her courage, and put to him some 
questions relative to the old domestics at the 
chateau De Beaumont. He answered her gently 
and kindly, but the look of joy that was in his 
eyes when he had first seen her was gone. In 
fact, he had put a wrong construction upon the 
starting tear that he had marked, and her sub- 
sequent confusion, when he caught her glance 
at dinner — to a jealous man, every trifle is 
^* confirmation strong as proofs of Holy Writ," 
— and with him, whose letters had been de- 
spised, whose visits had been rejected, could it 
be otherwise? — Nevertheless^ the memory of 
the Church of the Salute was in her heart, and 
she tried to continue the conversation. Soon 
a brighter expression crossed his face, and 
Isabelle felt courage to allude to the night at 
the theatre. 

There is often complete solitude in a crowd — 


Isabelle felt it — every one was occupied with 
their own amusements — nobody minded them, 
and they were quite alone. They stood beside 
a small table covered with prints and books, 
in the deep recess of an open window, looking 
out upon the terraced garden, and the thick 
folds of the crimson drapery of the curtains 
partly shaded them from observation. It was 
a dark, still night, without a moon, with a 
bright star twinkling here and there in the 
heavens, while the profusion of lights in the 
lofty salon and the suite of apartments thrown 
open to accommodate the numerous guests, 
made this obscurity without still more palpable. 

The baron said something inarticulately, in 
reply to her mention of the night of the fire, 
Isabelle could not catch it, but it vibrated to 
her heart — 

" I have never been able to thank you," con- 
tinued Isabelle in a timid voice, *^ to tell you 
how grateful I am to you, for rescuing me 
from the danger that was round me on every 


side— since then, I have only seen you once, 
and that was but for an instant — I had hoped,'' 
here Isabelle's voice faltered, she paused and 
did not dare to say any more, but she raised 
her soft eyes to his — they fell beneath the 
sparkling penetrating, earnest look that was 
fixed upon her. It was a look that spoke of 
intense feeling— of love — but there was doubt 
and perplexity mingled in it — Isabelle could 
not unravel it. 

Again she dared to address him — again, her 
glance, almost of supplication, met his, but the 
expression of his countenance was changed, a 
storm of contending passions seemed to shake 
his frame, and turning away abruptly, he darted 
into the thick gloom without, through the win- 
dow which opened to the ground. Isabelle 
saw him no more for the rest of the evening, 
and her pillow was steeped in a torrent of tears 
that night. 

" Alas V said she, in her midnight medita- 
tions, ^' it is over — all my efforts are useless — 


how proud was his countenance this evening, 
and he flew from me as if he detested my 
sight ! — Would I could blot out from my 
memory for ever, the remembrance of how dear 
I was once to him ! — of our stolen interviews in 
Venice ! Foolish girl that I was — have I not 
been bitterly punished for them, and yet I 
could scarcely refuse to see him, for did he not 
risk his life to save mine ? Ah ! then I knew 
but little what it was to love ! Better, far bet- 
ter, if the waters of the Lagune had swallowed 
me up — it was but cruel kindness to save me — 
still better, if the devouring flames had de- 
stroyed me — Why did he return to Paris ? — I 
was calm and contented — I dreamed not I could 
love thus — would I could die ! And this pas- 
sion for one w^ho detested me — who said he 
w^ould prefer banishment — death itself to being 
united to me — and that in my own hearing, 
though he knew not I was near. Mad ! oh, 
how mad, to dream I could ever attach him — 
what have I done to deserve this bitter portion ? 


Yet he is unhappy too — so changed — so 

pale since he came to Paris — Alas ! he too 
must love hopelessly — even now he sleeps not ; 
I hear his perturbed step overhead. Oh death ! 
death! how gladly would I hail thee, as my 
dearest friend — for then he would be free." 
# * * * * 

The next morning at breakfast^ Isabelle 
scarcely dared to meet the eye of De Montfort. 
She had heard his step until a late hour, hurriedly 
pacing the apartment, prepared for him, which 
was immediately over hers, yet when he ap- 
proached to proffer his morning greeting, she 
observed that his air, though melancholy, was 
softened, and that his eye rested on her with 
an expression almost tender. 

It was a beautiful morning, and immediately 
after breakfast, the various guests, for many 
from a distance were come to spend a day or 
two, began to arrange different excursions. 

Isabelle sat apart apparently engaged at 


some tapestry work. De Montfort approached 
and said to her: ^' Isabelle/'— it was the first 
time he had ever addressed her by her name — 
" Isabelle you asked me some questions last 
night about the old place, and our old followers 
(our ! it was music to Isabelle's ear) — would 
you not like to come over and see it ? every one 
is going out to walk or ride. Let me drive you 
over in my aunt's little open carriage — you will 
be pleased to see how beautifully Pierrot keeps 
the garden and your bower, it is just as when 
you left it." 

De Montfort was standing with his back to 
the rest of the gay groups who were arranging 
their plans, and as Isabelle bowed her concur- 
rence, for her heart was too full to speak, he 
put her hand to his hps and said : " In half an 
hour I will come for you." He then passed 
through an open door into the conservatory, 
close to where she was sitting, and she heard 
him sigh audibly, yet was she too happy at the 
time, to ask herself why he sighed. 


Unhappy De Montfort ! the cup of happi- 
ness almost touched his lips ; all that he most 
desired seemed within his grasp, yet a cruel 
suspicion poisoned the draught, and made him 
hesitate to grasp what might be but a shadow. 
Why had Isabelle, after rejecting his letters — 
after treating him with such scorn and contempt, 
after he had seen her eyes gloating over the 
miniature of his rival— of De Cressy ; why had 
she now come into Normandy ? why did she 
now rather seek than fly from him ? why was 
her proud beauty changed into that of the soft, 
tender, timid woman ? Not from the suggestions 
of her ow^n heart — not because she loved him — 
No, it could not be, her former behaviour forbade 
the thought. Friends had interfered — his father, 
perhaps, his aunt — and she unwillingly, tearfully 
followed on the path they had chalked out. And 
he was to take her, a reluctant, weeping bride, to 
his heart, and know, while he lavished on her the 
passionate love so long pent up there, that she 
inwardly brooded over the image of another. 


Distraction ! — this picture which his fancy had 
conjured up almost maddened his brain ; the 
thick darkness, the tangled and dewy paths into 
which he plunged on the preceding night, had 
brought no solace to the fever of his mind, and 
it was not until he had paced his own apart- 
ment, long after the old clock in the chateau 
had struck the second hour after midnight, that 
softer imaginings rose before him. He called 
to mind their ill-starred marriage — he remem- 
bered the impression that his coldness — his dis- 
like to it, must have made upon Isabelle. He 
asked himself if any sacrifice, any humiliation 
on his part, could be too much to wipe out the 
recollection of it from her memory. 

If she had spurned at his letters, at his love, 
could he be surprised ? and now that she seemed 
willing to make a sacrifice of her own natural 
resentment at his former conduct — looking so 
beautiful as she did, in her timidity and gentle- 
ness, should he reject the reconciliation she 
appeared to offer, because she could not give 


tiim all he wished. No, he would not be such 
a madman, he would try, by his fond devotion, to 
blot out the past — he would teach her to forget 
De Cressy, and win her entirely for himself. 

Such were some of the motives that made De 
Montfort seek his beautiful wife this morning, 
while a rooted conviction of her utter indif- 
ference towards him, drew from him the sigh 
he could not suppress. 

Isabelle laid her tapestry work aside with a 
mingling of joy and trepidation, and hastening 
to her own apartment for her hood and scarf, 
soon returned to the salon, where she found 
only two or three of the gentlemen looking out 
of the window, waiting for the ladies, who had 
all disappeared to make similar preparations for 
their excursions, which had been arranged into 
two divisions — a walking party over the Cote de 
Grace, and along the sea shore, and some of the 
gentlemen planning to cross over in a boat to 
Havre, for an hour or two. 

They all, however, soon re-appeared in the 


salon, and seeing Isabelle in her walking dress, 
made no doubt that she was going to accom- 
pany them, and crowding around her, began to 
explain what a beautiful walk they had planned. 
The gentlemen who had been watching the 
clouds from the window, which had been grow- 
ing ominously dark for the last ten minutes, 
notwithstanding the former beauty of the morn- 
ing, now approached, and pointed out the storm 
that was coming on. Others of them who had 
been out, now entered and confirmed the bad 
tidings, to the great disappointment of all the 
young people, and soon a thick, steady, heavy 
rain, began to descend. After watching the 
heavens for some time, and peeping out of the 
windows and doors, in hopes of discovering 
some chance of its clearing, the young girls took 
off their hoods and scarfs, and dispersing in 
groups about the salon, betook themselves to 
various employments, some played at trie trac, 
some sat down to their embroidery frames, while 
Eulalie and several of the others, throwing open 


the heavy folding doors, which connected the 
salon with the adjoining suit of apartments, 
sought a refuge from their chagrin in battledoor 
and shuttle-cock. 

Josephine and her friend Adele Desguey, 
brought their embroidery frames close to the 
one at which Isabelle was engaged, just at the 
moment that De Montfort, who had entered 
the room a few moments before, was bending 
over her chair and whispering his regrets at the 
unpropitious change in the weather. 

" But to-morrow, Isabelle," said he earnestly, 
'' promise me you will accompany me to-mor- 
row — I have much to say to you." 

" I promise," replied Isabelle, timidly ; and 
the young girls prevented any further con- 
versation by their approach. De Montfort pro- 
posed to read aloud for their entertainment, 
which offer they gladly accepted, and taking 
up a volume of Corneille's plays, he commenced 
the Cid. 

Thus, with various occupations and amuse* 


ments, the morning, in spite of their disappoint- 
ment, flew rapidly away, the reading only in- 
terrupted now and then by the tones of a lute, 
from the next apartment, or by the flight of 
some stray shuttle-cock which found its way 
through the open door, the rain coming down 
in a steady and uninterrupted pour, when sud- 
denly, a loud knocking was heard at the gate 
of the court-yard, and the tread of horses' hoofs 
and the sound of voices outside, gave notice of 
a new and unexpected addition to their party. 

Who this was we shall see in the next chap- 



But, O, what damned minutes tells he o'er 

Who dotes, yet doubts ; suspects, yet strongly loves ! 


The notes of the lute ceased, the shuttle-cock 
fell to the ground^and the whole party gathered 
together in the salon, to see who this new arri- 
val could be. De Montfort had laid his book 
aside, surprised at the tumult, when the door 
of the salon opened, and the Marquis de; Cressy 
was announced. 

Madame d'Anglures advanced to meet him 
with unusual animation, and welcomed him to 



the chateau, introducing him to those of her 
guests with whom he was not previously ac- 
quauited. The elder ones were glad to see any 
new addition to their party on so gloomy a day, 
while the bright eyes of the young girls shewed 
that they were not displeased at the entrance of 
so gay looking a cavalier. To De Montfort 
alone, although he greeted him with assumed 
cordiality, the sight of De Cressy was worm- 
wood, and he turned a jealous and scrutinizing 
glance on Isabelle, as rising from her em- 
broidery frame, she gracefully acknowledged 
him as an old acquaintance ; but his narrowest 
observation could not discover a trace of that 
confusion, which the unexpected sight of one 
beloved, naturally occasions. Had he turned 
his eyes towards Eulalie, he would have been 
surprised at the bright carnation that over- 
spread her cheek when the marquis accosted 
her, but he had no thought, no perception for 
any one but Isabelle. 

After humorously detailing some particulars 


of the very wearisome visit he had been paying 
to his uncle, and his anxiety to fulfil his pro- 
mise to Madame d'Anglures, and accept the 
hospitality she had so kindly offered him in 
Paris, he insisted that he should not interrupt 
any of their amusements, and declaring that 
battledoor and shuttlecock was the most appro- 
priate diversion for such dispiriting weather, 
snatched up a battledoor and challenging the 
laughing Eulalie to a game, sent the flying 
shuttlecock across the room with great dex- 
terity. The young people were enchanted at 
his vivacity — the elder ones praised his good 
nature, and Eulalie pursued the game with a 
heart as light and gay as of old, while the mar- 
quis paused now and then to look at her 
fairy little figure, which seemed to fly on gos- 
samer wings, rather than to run a'cross the oom. 
The jealous De Montfort had abruptly en- 
tered the conservatory after his greeting with De 
Cressy, and heedless of the perfumed flowers 
and rare exotics which Madame d'Anglures 

I 2 


had assembled there, paced it rapidly up and 
down, with an absorbed air and downcast eyes. 
On seeing, however, that De Cressy had joined 
the party, who had again retreated to the apart- 
ment adjoining the salon, and that Isabelle and 
her companions still pursued their embroidery, 
he returned, and resumed his lecture ; but his 
voice was so unequal that he was obliged to 
plead a sudden attack of head-ache, and desist. 
— Isabelle's melting dark eyes looked at him as 
if she would have wished to have bathed his 
temples, and bound up his brow, but, while her 
companions syrapathisingly expressed their 
regrets, she did not dare to utter a word, his 
incomprehensible behaviour on the preceding 
night, recurring forcibly to her mind. 

The announcement of dinner put an end, for 
a while, to the sports and employments which 
had cheated time on this day of unceasing 
rain. The marquis appeared to be entirely en- 
grossed by the pretty Eulalie, and his attentions 
to her fell like oil upon the chafed spirit of De 


Montfort. Was it possible ? Had he been mis- 
taken in his suppositions about De Cressy ? 
Were he and Isabelle indeed indifferent to each 
other ? 

The young girls had sought the conserva- 
tory after dinner, and plucked the blossoms to 
adorn their hair. Eulalie wove a garland of 
orange flowers and white jessamine, and twined 
it through the braids and curls of Isabelle's 
dark tresses. With her simple white robe, and 
a white veil carelessly thrown over her shoulders, 
she looked like a bride, while the subdued and 
timid expression of her eyes, which fell belbre 
the sparkling glance De Montfort threw on 
her, when he, accompanied by some of the 
others, entered the conservatory, added to the 

Evening came, and the walls of the old cha- 
teau, which for several years had never beheld 
so many visitors, resounded to the tones of the 
harp and lute, accompanying the voices of the 
fair maidens. 

Isabelle had entreated Josephine not to ask 


her to sing. She felt that her voice was un- 
steady, and that it was impossible she could 
get through a song — notwithstanding the out- 
ward, apparent composure and gentleness of 
her demeanour, every look, every word of De 
Montfort filled her with agitation, with vain 
indefinable fears. She could not reconcile the 
passionate glances she sometimes caught, with 
the dark shadow, the dejection that rested on 
his face v\ hen she addressed him — now he 
seemed to seek her — then to fly from her — 
Alas ! when would this enigma cease. 

But amidst this merry looking party, De 
Montfort and Isabelle were not the only ones 
devoured by secret doubt and chagrin. Henri 
Desguey found means to pour his complaints 
into the ear of the compassionate Josephine 
during the course of the evening. 

" I had hoped," said he, " of having some 
chance with your lovely little sister, now that 
my hateful rival, Delamare, is out of the way ; 
but I see it is of no use, she is fascinated with 


that volatile, my lord marquis. It is but too 
plain," continued he, bitterly. " Do you not 
see it yourself, Josephine ?" 

" I scarcely know what to say, Monsieur 
Henri," began the gentle Josephine. 

" Call me not Monsieur Henri,'^ interrupted 
he impetuously, " kill me not with this cold- 
ness — do I not love you as dearly as if you 
were my sister ? Have I any other consolation 
in the world but in your friendship? Ah! 
Josephine, let me be simply, Henri, to you. 
Let me at least converse with you sometimes 
about her. The ungrateful one flies from me ! 
Tell me, dear Josephine— speak— ^do you think 
I have yet a chance V* 

" I cannot deceive you, Henri," rephed Jose- 
phine, turning away with pain, from his im- 
ploring look, and so much pity was there min- 
gled with her love in the tender heart of 
Josephine, that she would wilHngly, at that 
moment, if she could, have forwarded his suit 
with Eulalie. 


" If it must be so/^ said the young man with 
a deep sigh, " friendship must console me for 
love. Come, you must sing to me, dear Jose- 
phine," and he led her to the harp, and Jose- 
phine sang sweetly, for her mind, like a smooth 
untroubled stream, flowing through some green 
valley, sheltered from the winds of heaven by 
the high rocks and hills that shut it in, re- 
flected every object in its fairest proportions, 
and passion, seldom dared to ruffle even the 
surface of it, with his breath. 

After Josephine had finished, Eulalie took 
the lute, and a group gathered around her. 
She had sung several songs, in a sweet, simple 
style, that seemed much to captivate De Cressy^ 
perhaps from her notes being as untaught as 
those of the blackbird or thrush. 

Presently she struck the chords of a wild 
and rather singular air. De Montfort had 
been standing at the window looking into the 
darkness without, and seemingly listening to 
the rain which fell in a continued torrent : but 


upon hearing this air he started from his re- 
verie, and approaching Eulahe, requested she 
would sing the words if she knew them. 

" Isabelle can sing the words," said she, " I 
do not know them, it was from her I learnt 
the air." 

De Montfort looked at Isabelle and hesitated. 
He had heard her refuse De Cressy's pressing 
solicitations to sing a short time before ; but 
Isabelle immediately arose with a beating heart, 
took the lute, to sing this song — and for De 
Montfort ! 

It was a Bohemian melody, which her old at- 
tendant Nina, who was of Bohemian origin, 
and had spent much of her youth amongst 
the gipsies, had taught her when she was pre- 
paring for her first masquerade. 

She ^saw that De Montfort was intently ob- 
serving her, and that there was a look of 
startled surprise in his eyes. She divined the 
cause of it, and exerting all her powers, war- 

I 3 



bled the wild melody, but her voice, in spite of 
all her efforts, was low and tremulous. 

" I have never heard that song but once," 
said De Montfort; '' and it was at a masquer- 
ade at Venice ; may I ask where you learned 

"From an old attendant," replied Isabella, 
hurriedly, " who used to sing it to me when I 
was a young girl.*' 

" And your voice in its tones has a resem- 
blance to that of her who sung it," continued 
De Montfort. 

" Yes, De Montfort," said De Cressy, who 
was standing a little apart, '* I too remember it 
DOW. It was at the Palazzo of the Signor 
Pesaro at Venice, that we heard it. Does it 
bring to you memories of another country, and 
dreams that have passed away ? How desper- 
ately you were in love then !" 

"I loved not then as I love now," said De 
Montfort, in a whisper so low, that Isabelle, 
who still lingered over the symphony of the 


air, in order to hide her agitation, rather felt, 
than heard the words, which were inaudible to 
every one else. 

Laying the late aside, she rose from the 
chair, and feeling almost incapable of moving 
or breathing, rested her elbow on the back of 
it for support. 

Just then a lively waltz was heard, played on 
the spinet by Leonore Desguey, and accom- 
panied by her brother on the flute. The 
young people were immediately in motion, and 
the marquis approached Eulahe with the in- 
tention of claiming her as his partner, but she^ 
coquettishly avoiding him, playfully drew Isa- 
belle forward, and began the waltz with her, 
while the marquis, although a little disap- 
pointed, smiled good humouredly, and led out 
Josephine. Other couples followed. The 
dancing commenced in the music room, but 
some whirled their partners through the folding 
doors into the salon, which was quite empty. 
Eulalie was one of those, and she waltzed 


round and round the room with the dizzy 
Isabelle, who was glad of any excitement that 
could disguise the real agitation she was in. 
And still Eulalie, an untiring waltzer, whirled 
her round and round the salon, after all the 
others had retreated back to the music room, 
and their steps were so light that their feet 
scarcely seemed to touch the polished oak over 
w^hich they flew. 

De Montfort leaned against one of the pillars 
of the folding doors and looked on. His 
jealous suspicions began to be lulled to rest by 
the evident fascination which the sprightly 
Eulalie exercised over De Cressy, and his 
meditations became of a less sombre cast. 
Isabelle's voice had often before thrilled through 
his soul, recaUing old associations and memo- 
ries, but, until now, he never could define the 
link that united it with the past. Nevertheless 
not a glimpse of the truth flashed across, his 

Suddenly Eulalie paused, and exclaimed — 


" Isabelle cannot atand^ help me," and she 
tried to lead her to a seat, but the latter would 
have fallen to the ground if De Montfort had 
not sprung forward, and putting his arm round 
her waist almost carried her to a rustic bench 
within the conservatory, near the door of which 
Eulalie had stopped in her waltz. 

" Fly for a glass of water Eulalie, she is 
nearly fainting,'^ said he, " she will have more 
air here — you have made her exert herself too 

Eulalie was gone, and they were alone in the 
conservatory, which was dimly lighted up by 
two or three coloured lamps. 

Isabelle, though unable to support herself, 
had not lost her consciousness — she felt De 
Montfort press her to his heart and lay her 
head upon his bosom. Flow beautiful she 
looked to him in that dim light ! — her glossy 
hair touched his hand— he dared to kiss her 
pale lips — he forgot all his unanswered letters 
— his rejected visits — his fears — his suspicions 


he saw nothing, thought of nothing but 

" My beloved Isabella, you are better now, 
are you not ?" said he ; '' Speak to me." 

She opened her languid eyes, and looked at 
him, and faintly tried to disengage herself from 
his arms, but he only pressed her still closer 
to his heart. 

** Isabelle/' said he, " if you knew all I have 
suffered, if you knew how I love you, you 
would forgive me, you would try to love me in 
return, and we might live so happily together 
in the old Chateau de Beaumont — speak love 
— shall it be so ?" 

She did not speak, but he needed no reply — 
he read her answer in the soft and tender ex- 
pression of her countenance, and in the mantling 
flush that seemed to wrestle with the paleness 
that still overspread it. He felt her small white 
hand return the clasp of his — she no longer 
tried to disengage herself from his arms, and 


a bright vision of a happy home rose up before 

Only a few minutes had elapsed since the 
departure of Eulalie, yet they understood each 
other fully — years of fehcity were concentrated 
in those minutes. 

He thought he saw the depths of her true 
woman's heart revealed, in the timid confiding 
look of her dark eyes, which were half raised 
to meet his, whilst large tears glittered amidst 
their long lashes, and he felt that earth and 
heaven had bestowed upon him their choicest 
of blessings. 

Just then a slight breeze, rushing through the 
conservatory, covered Isabelle's neck with the 
leaves of a white rose, which hung overhead, 
and De Montfort, anxious to shield his treasure 
from the rude breath of the air, endeavoured to 
draw her veil closer round her bosom. This 
movement disturbed the chain which encircled 
her neck, and the locket, until then concealed 
within the folds of her robe, fell outside her 


It caught De Montfort's eye, and a sudden 
chill ran through his frame— he started as if he 
had trodden upon a serpent. O agony supreme ! 
O fatal sight ! O damning proof ! Too well he 
knew it again — too well — ^^it was the locket he 
had seen at the jeweller's, it contained the minia- 
ture of De Cressy. He tore himself from Isa- 
belle, and sprung from the seat ; one instant he 
bent over the locket, *' False one ! traitress ! 
dissembling woman !" he pronounced between 
his set teeth, and rushing from the conservatory 
by a door which led into the garden, was 
lost amidst the thick darkness and pouring 

Eulalie had hastened from the salon in search 
of the water for Isabelle, by an egress commu- 
nicating with a long passage which connected 
the pantries and kitchens with the other part 
of the building, thinking she could procure ' it 
sooner by this means, than if she had rung the 
bell, and the butler had given it to her with all 
possible dispatch. Nevertheless, though light 


of foot as a little fairy, it took her some time 
to cross the long corridors, and it was not until 
several minutes after the departure of De Mont- 
fort, that she entered the conservatory. 

Eulalie almost let the glass of water fall when 
she beheld Isabelle alone — deadly pale, with a 
a wild look in her large dark eyes, which were 
open to their fullest extent, and sitting in an 
upright position, perfectly motionless ; " where 
was De Montfort," she thought, *^ and why had 
he left her thus ?" 

She made her drink some of the water, and 
then, with a heavy sigh, laabelle hid her face 
upon her shoulder, but at first she did not 
speak. At length she said in a voice of un- 
natural calmness, '* dear Eulalie, I feel quite 
overcome, I will go to my room, but do not 
accompany me." 

Eulalie was too much terrified, however, by 
her appearance to heed this prohibition, al- 
though she had no idea that her illness arose 
from anything but the over fatigue of waltzing, 


and bitterly reproachingherself for having made 
her dance to such excess, followed Isabelle to 
her apartment, which, being on the ground 
floor, was not far from the salon. 

Isabelle threw herself upon a couch and 
closed her eyes, and Eulalie drew a low stool, 
and sat down at her head. 

" I am almost well now," said Isabelle ; ^' dear 
Eulalie, leave me — it was only a little faintness, 
leave me, dear one — you see I am much better, 
I think I should like to go to sleep." 

Eulalie was very unwilling to leave her, but 
Isabelle persisted. 

" I am quite well dear Eulalie, only a little 
giddy from all the waltzing — I will lie still for 
a while, perhaps T may be able to join you by 
and by ; but if not, you will come and bid me 
good night when you break up. Victorine is 
in the anti-room, should I feel really indisposed 
I will call her." 

" Dear Isabelle it was dreadful of me to 


whirl you about in such a way, pray forgive 
me — but I will go since you wish it.'^ 

So saying, Eulalie kissed her, and little 
suspecting the truth, joined the party in the 
music room. 



Con quai nodi tenaci awinta a questa 
Miserabile spoglia e I'alma mia ! 
Come resiste a tanti 
Insoffribili affanni ! 


IsABELLE could hear the sound of the music 
and the hum of voices, while pressing both her 
hands upon her throbbing brow, she recalled 
the scene in the conservatory, and asked herself 
over and over again, could it be a reality, or 
was it only a vision of her disordered imagina- 
tion ? No, it was not a dream. Had not De 


Montfort told her that he loved her? — had he 
not asked her to forget the past ? Then those 
cruel words — what did they mean ? why had 
he thrown her from him and rushed into the 
night, heedless of the warring elements ? — 
Cruel De Montfort ! — why did he thus torture 

Thus she lay, exhausted and tearless. — Once 
or twice, Eulalie stole in to look at her, but she 
forced a smile — said she was much better, that 
the sensation of faintness had entirely passed 
away, and her little friend left her satisfied that 
it was so. 

Thus she lay hopeless and despairing, when 
she heard the door that led from the garden 
into a passage at the foot of the staircase open 
— then she recognised the baron's step slowly 
ascending the stairs to his room, which was 
overhead. She heard him pace the apartment 
for a few minutes — then there was a noise as 
if he had pulled a table, and then all was 


Isabelle still lay motionless and exhausted 
on her couch. At the end of half an hour, she 
heard steps descend the staircase, and some 
one knocked at the door of the anti-room — 
some one spoke to Victorine — could it be the 
baron ? 

The murmur ceased, and all was silent again. 
Could there be any message? Victorine did 
not appear. 

After some minutes of feverish expectation, 
Isabelle rose from the couch and entered the 
anti-room. The souhrette was flown, but she 
found on the table a sealed packet, directed to 
herself, in the handwriting of the baron. Her 
trembling fingers could scarcely close upon the 

Just at this moment, Victorine entered the 
room in breathless haste — she had in fact, gone 
in search of Fran9oi8, to ask him what she was 
to do with the packet, and meeting him in the 
passage, he had chided her sharply, for not 
bringing it with her, and she was now come 


back to look for it. She started and turned 
pale with terror, on beholding it in the pos- 
session of the Baroness — what would Monsieur 
Francois say to her ? 

<< Why did you not bring me this letter im- 
mediately, Victorine,^^ demanded Isabelle in an 
unsteady voice. 

•' 1 did but wait a little,'^ replied Victorine 
hjimbly, "lest I should disturb my lady — 
Maac nioiselle Eulalie said my lady was going 
to sleep." 

*' And the bearer of it ?" said Isabelle. 

" Was my lord the baron himself," replied 
the soabrette, not daring to conceal the truth. 

Isabelle glided into her own room, and 
drawing a lamp close beside her, undid the 
packet with a trembling hand. The letter ran 
thus : — 

" It is time that we should separate for ever, 
Isabelle. To-morrow I shall leave this neigh- 
bourhood — this country, which is become hate- 


ful to me, and prepare to return to Constanti- 
nople — would I had never left it I 

^^ I write to you, not to reproach you with 
the disingenuousness of your late conduct — 
not to tell you of the misery you have caused 
me — but to warn you, if possible, of the preci- 
pice on which you stand — of the danger in 
which you are of wrecking both your honour 
and reputation, and of losing the brilliant po- 
sition which you at present hold in society — ^I 
say nothing of the restraints which religion 
and virtue ought to have over you — I leave 
this to the consideration of your own heart. 
Alas ! I acknowledge that my own former cul- 
pable and inexcusable neglect has been the 
origin of all your faults, but how deeply, how 
bitterly, have you punished me for it. 

" Need I tell you again, how I cursed 
my blind infatuation, in favour of another, 
when I beheld you on my return from abroad — 
I saw you, beautiful, talented, fascinating, and 
I became aw^are of the value of the gem I had 


cast from me. I was prepared for coldness, 
reserve, wounded pride — but 1 dared to hope 
that all this might be overcome at last — that 
my repentance, my sincere acknowledgment of 
my errors — my love — might have led you to 
hold out, at least some distant prospect, that I 
might yet be forgiven, and although I saw you 
smile upon every one but upon me — although 
I saw with bitter jealousy, your dark eyes flash 
with pleasure, when others approached, while 
from me they were always averted — still I dared 
to hope. Even when receiving the visits, and 
congratulations of all your friends, you so 
cruelly rejected mine, shewing me how unpar- 
donably you thought! had sinned — I did not en- 
tirely despair. But when I beheld to-night, 
next your heart, the cherished and prized mi 
niature of De Cressy — that locket which I had 
seen in your hand at the jeweller's — that locket 
which I well remembered to have been his, I 
could no longer deceive myself as to the cause 
of your coldness. 



** Yes, Isabelle, at the very moment that 
bright visions of domestic peace and a happy 
home in the old chateau, with a beloved one, 
floated before my eyes, I discovered with agony 
unspeakable that you were irrevocably lost 
to me. 

" I would willingly, if I could, set you free, 
but we cannot break the ties that unite us. 
All I can do, is to release you from the presence 
of a man, who, although you have, from what 
motives I cannot divine, so unworthily stooped 
to deceive since he came here, must be hateful 
to your sight, 

"Farewell." ' 

Was Isabelle in a dream as she read this 
letter, or had the events of the evening deprived 
her of her senses ? She rose from the couch in 
wild agitation — she drew the lamp nearer to 
her. Could it be a delusion of the imagina- 
tion ? No, the paper was tangible — she looked 
at it again and again - she could not be de- 


ceived, it was the handwriting of De Montfort. 
Yes, he loved her — De Montfort loved her — 
all would be soon explained — his jealous doubts 
would disappear, as snow melts before the sun 
— the miniature worn next her heart would be 
an irrefragable proof of her truth. His mini- 
ature ! — yes, he would see she was the Agnes 
once so beloved. 

While these thoughts, quick as lightning, 
flashed through the mind of Isabelle, she could 
distinguish De Montfort's voice, as if giving 
orders to rran9ois, and she trembled lest he 
might leave the chateau that night — then she 
hurried across the room to fly to him herself — 
to tell him all — but no, she could not, she dared 
not meet his eye, until he was thoroughly un- 

Timid and irresolute, she sat down at the 
table, and snatching up a pen, wrote a few 
illegible lines, for she had scarcely strength in 
her fingers to guide it : — 

K 2 


'* You will recognise the locket which I en- 
close — you will recollect the evening you 
tied it on my neck in the Church of the Salute. 

*' It was not until the jeweller shewed me 
the secret spring in the one in his possession, 
that I discovered mine contained your minia- 
ture. Ah ! how dearly have I prized it. Judge 
if I have deceived you, 

"IsABELLE Agnes De Montfort." 

Isabelle took the locket from its chain, 
pressed it to her lips, and placing it in the 
letter, sealed it, and went in search of Victo- 

The joy that sparkled in her countenance in 
spite of her agitation, struck some chord un- 
touched till then in the breast of her attendant. 

Victorine, no longer regretted that her mis- 
tress had received the letter, and took the one 
she now gave her, with a secret determination 
to deliver it faithfully. 

" Give it to the baron himself," said Isabelle, 


" Do not trust it in any other hands, my good 

Victorine promised implicit obedience to this 
command, and hastened on her errand, whilst 
Isabelle returned to her own room to wait in 
breathless expectation the result of a disclosure 
which must at once dissipate the jealous sus- 
picions of De Montfort, and unite her to him 
for ever. 

Victorine would willingly have flown, this 
time if she could, to the baron's dressing 
room, where she knew he now was, but mid- 
way up the flight of steps, which led to it, she 
encountered Fran9ois, who seized the letter in 
her hand before she could conceal it, and partly 
by coaxing and partly by threats of never for- 
giving her, persuaded her to return to her mis- 
tress and assure her that she had placed the 
letter in the baron's own hands. 

The girl's attachment to Fran9ois was so 
great, and her dread of his not fulfilling his 
promise of marrying her, so uppermost in her 


mind, that she soon consented to be guided by 
him, and a hint or two, of the Uttle cottage they 
were one day to occupy in her native village, 
was quite sufficient to stifle every sentiment of 
contrition for the treacherous part she had been 
so long acting towards her indulgent mistress. 
She therefore returned immediately, and assur- 
ing the baroness, that after knocking for some 
minutes at the door of the baron's dressing 
room, she had seen him, and given him the 
letter, retired to wait in the adjoining anti-room, 
until her farther attendance for the night should 
be required. 

Isabelle sat and watched, breathless and 
attentive to the shghtest sound, but no longer 
despairing or hopeless. The notes of the 
distant music fell upon her ear — the rain pat- 
tered heavily against the windows — the wind 
rose and murmured with a melancholy wail 
through the old trees that surrounded the 
chateau— the clock struck eleven — still De 


Montfort did not come. *' It is impossible, but 
he must soon come/^ ejaculated she. 

Steps were heard descending the staircase — 
he comes — no, the steps passed by, they re- 
sounded from the passage leading to the garden. 
The door opened — it closed again — still De 
Montfort came not. And now her agitation 
increased, her sense of hearing grew painfully 
acute— the tread of horses' feet was distinguished 
amidst the howling of the storm, which mut- 
tering low at first, now seemed to shriek around 
the walls of the chateau — the great gate of the 
court yard opened — men and horses passed 
through it, and now she heard them gallop 
away — their tread grew fainter, it ceased to 
echo on her ear. Good Heavens ! is it possible 
that De Montfort is gone — gone without seeing 
her, and in such a night ! 

Isabelle sat motionless, pierced with the 
most poignant grief. 

'^ Alas ! De Montfort knows all, and he has 
left me,'' said she ; ^* but no, it cannot be him 


— he cannot be gone — 1 will send Victorine 
to find out — I cannot endure this dreadful 

She rang the little silver bell that stood upon 
the table beside her, and Victorine appeared 
before her mistress, endeavouring to hide her 
own confusion, for she too had heard the horse- 
men leaving the court yard, and well knew it 
must be the baron, as rran9ois had told her, 
that he had been ordered to bring out the 
horses ; but Isabelle never noticed her embar- 
rassment, being too much pre-occupied with 
her own fears. 

" Go, Victorine, and bring me word," said 
she, " which of our party has left the chateau 
on this stormy night — but now, I heard the 
noise of horses' feet, and the gate of the court 
yard open to let them pass." 

Victorine departed without uttering a word, 
but soon re-appearing, said that the lord baron 
De Montfort, recollecting that he had urgent 
business to transact at his chateau, which had 


escaped his memory until then, had beea 
obliged to return thither, despite the storm 
and the lateness of the hour. This in fact, 
being the apology which De Montfort had sent 
to his auntj in order to account for his abrupt 

" ^Tis well/' said Isabelle, with feigned calm- 
ness, " I knew not that my lord was going 
away to-night — leave me, Victorine, I will ring 
when I want you." 

Isabelle took De Montfort's letter from her 
bosom, and read it over and over again. 

Alas 1 she knew not what to think — such 
assurances of love, mingled with such reproaches 
— reproaches so undeserved — what visits of his 
had she ever cruelly rejected ? had it not been 
the dearest wish of her heart to see him ? — had 
she not, after the fire at the theatre, watched 
for him — looked for him in vain — and this 
groundless jealousy of the Marquis de Cressy — 
why came he not when it was all cleared up? — 
Perhaps he thought her letter too cold, it was 

K 3 


but a hurried scrawl, and then she recalled to 
mind every word she had written, and wept to 
think she had not said more, but had she not 
sent the miniature, and did not that tell every 

Madame d'Anglures was much vexed at her 
nephew's precipitate departure, but although 
she suspected other reasons, than those he 
assigned, must have induced him to leave the 
chateau at that hour, she was unable to pene- 
trate the true cause. She was disappointed too, 
and feared that he was harsh and displeased 
with her, for not informing him beforehand 
that Isabelle was at the chateau, and that thus, 
instead of promoting a reconciliation between 
them, she might have only made matters worse 
by bringing them together. 

Isabelle was still in her boudoir when Eulalie 
stole in to say, good night. She was not now 
lying on the couch as Eulalie had left her, but 
bitting near a small table, on which was a lamp, 
with writing materials, her head leaning upon 


her hand, and she seemed quite unconscious of 
Eulalie's approach, until the latter kissed her, 
and hoped she was better. But she looked so 
pale, that Eulalie became again frightened, and 
proposed to sit up with her all night, entreating 
her to go to bed. 

Isabelle, with a faint smile, tried to dissipate 
her fears, and retiring to her sleeping apart- 
ment, which was only separated from the bou- 
doir by folding doors, summoned Victorine to 
assist at her night toilet, assuring Eulalie that 
she should be quite well enough in the morning 
to accompany her in their usual ramble, if the 
storm that now raged so violently, should pass 
away by that time. 

Various were the contending emotions which 
kept Isabelle waking all that long night. 

She tried to persuade herself that she might 
see the Baron, or at least, hear from him on the 
morrow. The morrow came, but it only brought 
an account of De Montfort's departure with 
Fran9ois, from the Chateau de Beaumont, and 


of his having signified to the old steward, that 
he had no intention of returning thither again. 

This last piece of inteUigence gave a death 
blow to all poor Isabelle's hopes. Melan- 
choly and depressed in appearance, and her 
heart filled with the most poignant anguish, she 
vainly endeavoured to fathom the mystery that 
enveloped the Baron's conduct. 

She was, however, in a great measure, able 
to shield her feelings from observation, as this 
day, there was a general departure of most of 
the visitors from the chateau. The Marquis de 
Cressy receiving an account of his mother hav- 
ing been taken dangerously ill, was obliged to 
setotFfor Parisv He did not, however, leave the 
Chateau d'Anglures, without a hurried explana- 
tion with the blushing Eulalie, and a promise 
of speedy return. This, which at another time 
would have given Isabelle the liveliest joy, al- 
though she heard it with satisfaction, had not 
the power to distract her thoughts from herself, 
and on seeing the happiness and gaiety it diffused 


over all the family party, she secretly reproached 
herself for the selfishness which prevented her 
from being a partaker of the general felicity it 

Yet it was grateful to her on many accounts. 
The Marquis was a hon parti for her dear little 
friend, and his marriage with her would put 
to flight the jealous suspicions which she some- 
times feared must still cloud the mind of De 

But when she heard that De Montfort had 
really left France, and knew that rivers and 
mountains each day were separating them far- 
ther and farther from each other, she felt it im- 
possible any longer, to wear the semblance of 
calmness, and thought a solitude, where she 
need no longer dissemble, would tend to soften 
her grief. 

Utterly unable to make up her mind to re- 
turn to Paris, and resume her usual duties at 
court, Isabelle now determined to resign her 
situation as dame du palais about the Queen, 


and shut herself up entirely in the Chateau de 
Beaumont. She assigned no reason to her 
friends, for what appeared to them, to be a very 
sudden and unlooked for resolution, except that 
her health required a residence in the country, 
and after spending a short time longer at the 
Chateau d'Anglures, despite the opposition and 
displeasure of her father-in-law, the Count De 
Beaumont, at such a step, sent in her resigna- 
tion to the Queen, and put her resolves into 



Cheerful at morn, he wakes from short repose, 
Breathes the keen air, and carols as he goes •, 
"With patient angle trolls the finny deep, 
Or drives his vent'rous ploughshare to the steep ; 
Or seeks the den where snow-tracks mark the way, 
And drags the struggling savage into day. 


Several months have elapsed since the oc- 
currence of those events, recorded in the pre- 
ceding chapter. 

Ever since the departure of De Montfort, 
an insupportable languor had taken possession 
of Isabelle. Sleep refused to visit her pillow, 


or if wearied nature overcome put on the sem- 
blance of repose, fearful dreams haunted her, 
and her slumbers were fevered and unrefreshing. 
If, for a few hours, she sunk into a happy obli- 
vion, she always awoke in terror with the pre- 
sentiment of some terrible calamity hanging 
over her— an icy grasp seemed to chill her heart, 
as if with iron fingers, and she would watch 
wearily and anxiously, for the morning light. 

The remembrance of the letter she had writ- 
ten to De Montfort, continually haunted her 
imagination. This letter explaining every thing, 
pourtraying as it were, in a few words, the hid- 
den spring of all her actions, revealing the 
secret passion of her soul — thus despised, con- 
temned, unanswered, filled her mind with an 
ever gnawing, ever consuming canker. 

On her first arrival at the Chateau de Beau- 
mont, her grief was so wild and passionate, that 
she feared for her own reason — then as she 
grew calmer, a total indifference to every thing 
took possession of her soul. The walks she had 


lovedj the shrubs and flowers she had planted, 
her books, her music, even the poor peasantry 
around, in whom she had formerly taken such 
interest, nothing was able to charm away this 
soul consuming sorrow. 

Eulalie united to the Marquis De Cressy, 
now resided in Paris, and Josephine was on a 
visit with her, while Madame d'Anglures, though 
kind and affectionate, was but little calculated to 
rouse Isabelle from the melancholy into which 
she was plunged. 

Terrified at last, at the state to which she 
found herself reduced, and unable to banish 
those ever recurring memories, Isabelle took 
the resolution of leaving that part of the coun- 
try, and seeking repose amidst the scenes of her 
youth, with the good nuns of the convent of 
St. Agnes. 

Madame d'Anglures, who loved her dearly, 
and saw with dismay the change that had taken 
place in her appearance, without being able to 
divine the cause of it, did not oppose her in- 


tentioT), while the good Abbe de Saye, who 
visited her frequently, by impressing on her 
mind the vanity of all earthly pursuits and 
pleasures, and holding up before her eyes con- 
tinually, the power of religion to heal the 
wounded spirit, was principally instrumental 
in bringing her to this conclusion. He alone, 
of all her friends, suspected that the real cause 
of her despondency, was in some way con- 
nected with the sudden departure of De Mont- 
fort, and though an old man, and one who had 
long since sought and found in the bosom of 
the church, a refuge from all earthly cares, he 
could not forget that he, too, like Isabelle, 
had once been the sport of contending pas- 

" My dear daughter," said he to her one 
day, taking her affectionately by the hand, " I 
do not ask to penetrate your secret ; I have dis- 
covered it sufficiently to be satisfied that the 
step you are going to take will conduce, more 
than any thing else, to your peace of mind. I 


can compassionate you, my child, for I have 
sorrowed with a deep sorrow for the loss of a 
beloved one, taken from me under circumstances 
peculiarly painful. Perhaps you would like to 
hear my story — it will, at least, distract your 
thoughts for a while from dwelling upon your- 

Isabelle bowed her thanks and acquiescence, 
for her heart was too full to speak, and the good 
abbe thus began — 

" You already know that my early profession 
was that of arms, and that I was not originally 
intended for the church. I served under Louis 
XITI. in many battles, and I may now say, with 
some distinction, being animated by a chival- 
rous spirit which made me consider honour 
and glory as the highest of all earthly goods. 
How fallacious are all the things of this world 
I have since found. 

" I was an only child. My father, who was 
himself entirely devoted to worldly pursuits, 
thought of nothing from the time I was born 


but how to advance my fortunes, and with this 
end in view had early set his heart upon my 
being united in marriage with the daughter of 
a neighbouring gentleman, who, though un- 
attractive in appearance and manner, and much 
older than myself, wanted no grace or adornment 
in his eyes, as she was heiress to all the pos- 
sessions of her father. 

^* Although I sincerely loved and reverenced 
my parent, I did not approve of this his favorite 

*' Nevertheless I gave myself but little un- 
easiness about it. I was seldom at home and 
then only for a very short period, my military 
duties engrossing all my time. I was besides, 
inditferent about love and marriage, glory being 
the only mistress 1 covetted — the hour was 
coming, however, when I was to think other- 

"The regiment to which I belonged was 
ordered to Grenoble, and we expected to 
remain there for some months. I had never 


been in that part of the country before, and 
wishing to penetrate into some of the Alpine 
scenery, from which we were at no great dis- 
tance, asked and obtained, together with a 
brother officer, three weeks' leave of absence. 

" Determining to be quite to ourselves, we got 
a country lad to carry our knapsacks, and follow- 
ing the course of the river Isere on foot, took 

up our abode at the small village of , from 

whence we made various delightful excursions 
into the vallies, penetrating into the forests, 
and clambering up the precipices of the neigh- 
bouring Alps. 

" We had passed two or three days very agree- 
ably, not taking any guide, but wandering about 
as inclination led us, when, towards the close 
of the fourth day, we were caught in one of the 
violent storms, which so frequently sweep 
through those Alpine regions. We looked 
around in every direction for a place of refuge, 
and soon perceived at no great distance from us a 
dwelling, nestling under the shelter of a pre- 


cipitous rock, and almost hanging over the valley 
beneath. The spot in which it was situated was 
wild and secluded, yet the cottage, — for although 
it appeared large and commodious, it deserved 
no higher appellation — had an air of comfort, 
with a tasteful arrangement of the trees and 
shrubs by which it was almost hidden, that be- 
spoke it the habitation of some one above the 
rank of a peasant. 

" We were yet hesitating whether we should 
approach, or seek for a more humble looking 
dwelling, when we were observed by the owner, 
who was himself hastening from the valley. 
He immediately accosted us, and insisted on our 
accompanying him home, when he welcomed us 
with primitive hospitality, and intreated us to 
remain the night. We soon learned that he was 
a retired officer, a widower, who with his only 
child, a daughter beautiful as the day, had sought 
this retreat, which was suited both to his tastes 
and to his very limited income. 

" Although long past the prime of life, he was 


a man of a noble and erect mien and iron-look- 
ing frame, his face slightly marked with two or 
three honourable scars, one, who might still 
have been supposed fitted to do good service in 
battle, had he not chosen the hardy life of a 
mountaineer. We gathered from his conversa- 
tion, that he amused himself in cultivating a 
small plot of ground, which he managed en- 
tirely himself, with the assistance of an old ve- 
teran soldier, who had followed the fortunes of his 
commander, and who, with one female domestic, 
constituted his entire establishment. Thus he 
spent his life in patriarchal simplicity, dividing 
his time between the labours of his fields and 
garden and the education of Constance, for so 
was his lovely daughter named, now in her six- 
teenth year, 

" I had never seen any one so charming as 
Constance. She united a native grace and gen- 
tleness of manner, far beyond the most courtly 
polish, to a brilliant and transparent beauty that 
dazzled the beholder. I loved herfrom the mo- 


ment I beheld her. The retirement in which 
she lived gave an additional charm to attractions 
which I felt as if I alone of all the world had 
discovered, and although I knew that my friend 
was engaged to be married, I was jealous that 
his eye should have rested upon Constance as 
well as mine — 

'* But it signifies little now/' said the old 
Abbe, with a sigh, " what my Constance then 
was. Fifty years have passed over my head 
since that evening which formed a new epoch in 
my life. 

** On hearing my name, our kind host recog- 
nised it with an exclamation of pleasure and 
surprise — ' Can you be a relative of a brother 
officer and early friend of mine,' demanded he, 
* who fell fighting by my side, while his first 
fresh laurels were on his brow V 

** It was of my uncle he spoke, and this old 
companionship with one of my family, brought 
on a revival of bygones and memories, that es- 


tablished me immediately on the footing of a 

'' We left the house of our hospitable enter- 
tainers on the morrow, but I had still more than 
a fortnight's leave of absence from my regiment, 
and in spite of my friend's advice, who per- 
ceived my admiration of Constance, and knew 
how I was situated with respect to my father, I 
returned thither again and again. 

*^ I was always a welcome guest at the cot- 
tage of St. Pierre. Partial to his old profession 
of arms, he loved to talk of the past, and to 
fight his numerous battles over. He was a man 
too, who had travelled much and had a great 
deal of information, and I was never weary of 
listening to him — but the great attraction was 
the presence of Constance. 

" My beautiful Constance forsook her bees 
and flowers when I approached, and drawing a 
low stool to the feet of her father, betook her- 
self to her embroidery. She spoke but little, it 
is true, but I observed that her colour heightened 



and her eyes sparkled with pleasure whenever I 

*' Nevertheless matters might not have pro- 
gressed any further had it not been for the fol- 
lowing event. 

" I had been to pay a farewell visit at the 
cottage. My leave was expired, and 1 was to 
accompany my brother officer, who had of late 
found me the dullest of dull companions, ew route 
IbrGrenobleon the ensuing day. St. Pierre shook 
my hand cordially and affectionately at parting, 
and expressed his hopes of seeing me soon 
again, as he said he understood my regiment 
was to remain for some time in that part of the 
country. I was but too glad to promise to re- 
visit him, for I was going away with a heavy 
heart. Constance was stooping down watering 
some plants ; she averted her face when I ap- 
proached her, and gave me her hand. 

" ' My little Constance/ said her father, who 
always treated her, as if she were quite a child, 


' my little Constance, will you not tell our friend 
you will be happy to see him again ?' 

" ' YeSj very happy indeed. Monsieur,' re- 
plied Constance in a faltering voice, and I per_ 
ceived there were tears in her eyes. 

*' I could not return to my friend that morn- 
ing, but seeking the depths of the pine forests, 
thought of Constance until the shades of even- 
ing began to gather round. 

" Starting from my reverie at last, I was en- 
deavouring to extricate myself from the intri- 
cacies of the wood, when I was struck with the 
sound of loud voices apparently at a short dis- 
tance, followed immediately by a report of fire 
arms. Rushing in the direction from whence 
the clamour came, I beheld a single man strug- 
gling with three ruffians. They had just suc- 
ceeded in getting possession of his watch and 
rifling his pockets, and on seeing me, made ofi 
with their booty, leaving their victim stretched 
on the turf, while a stream of blood issued from 
his side. 

L 2 


" I raised the unhappy stranger up, and en- 
deavoured to staunch his wounds ; but judge of 
my horror when I discovered him to be the 
father of Constance. 

"A shepherd boy approaching, attracted 
thither Uke myself by the noise of fire arms, 
assisted me to form a hurdle and to bear the 
poor sufferer to his own home, which was only at 
the distance of half a league from the spot. 

" I pass over the agony of Constance. Aided 
by the old soldier, I bound up the wounds of 
my dying friend as well as 1 could, having sent 
the shepherd boy to the nearest town for a sur- 

'* St. Pierre felt he was dying — his only 
thought seemed to be for Constance — * Must I 
leave my child — my Constance/ he wildly ex- 
claimedj ' who will protect thee when I am gone. 
O my child, my child, must I leave thee — so 
young and so helpless !^ — * My father,' said I, in 
choking accents, ' let me call you by that name 
— let me be the protector — the husband of your 


Constance — say that it shall be so, and bless 
your children.' 

'* The dying man looked at me — a gleam of 
satisfaction overspread his face, a troubled joy 
was in his eyes, then they closed, and he re- 
mained motionless and insensible for several 
hours. Towards morning he seemed to revive, 
but when the surgeon came, he shook his head 
and said there was no hope. 

'* The priest of the parish, whom I had Hke- 
wise sent for, was in readiness to perform the 
last offices of the church, and now approached 
the bedside of the sufferer, who appeared to be 
endeavouring to collect his scattered thoughts, 
and turned his languid eyes frequently from 
Constance to me. 

'* The life of St. Pierre was ebbing apace, 
but he made a powerful effort on recognising 
the minister of the gospel, under whom he had 
dwelt for so many years, and immediately 
making a faint sign, gave him to understand, 
that he had some thing to communicate. The 


priest bent over the couch of St. Pierre for a 
few minutes. The latter was evidently imparting 
to him something relative to myself^ for the 
venerable old man turned his eyes towards me 
every now and then with an enquiring look — 
then he approached me and demanded in a low 
tone, if I had considered of the promise I had 
made St. Pierre with respect to Constance, and 
if I was prepared to fulfil it. * It would cheer 
the dying bed of my poor friend/ continued he, 
' could he see you the husband of his child ; 
nevertheless my son, he is ready to absolve you 
from a promise made on the impulse of the mo- 

'* ^ My father,' I replied, ' the dearest wish of 
my heart is to replace in some degree to Con- 
stance, the loss of such a parent — believe me, 
for I swear it.' 

" ' Approach then,' replied he, * and J will 
perform the rite that makes her yours, while 
my poor friend has strength to hear it.' 

" He led me to the side of Constance, who, 


pale as monumental marble, heard nothing, saw 
nothing, was unconscious of every thing bat 
her father, and placing her cold hand in mine 
performed the holy ceremony. 

"Never shall I forget the look of happiness 
that diffused itself over the countenance of St. 
Pierre. All earthly thoughts were now at rest, 
and giving up the little that remained of life to 
heaven, he soon passed away so calmly, that 
we thought he but slept. The icy coldness of 
his hand, which was clasped in hers, alone told 
Constance that all was over, and with a wild 
shriek she sunk lifeless at his side. 

" The goo 1 priest led me out of the room, and 
placing before my eyes, the necessity of joining 
my regiment that day, as he had gathered from 
me that my leave was expired, bade me be at 
rest about the preparations for the funeral, and 
care of the unhappy orphan, as he would take 
charge of every thing himself; and without per- 
mitting me to see Constance again, hurried me 


from the cottage, promising faithfully to v. rite 
to me on the morrow. 

" I cannot describe the mingled feelings with 
which I joined my regiment that evening, but 
grief for the death of St. Pierre far predominated 
over the rest. 

"Our knowledge of each other had been 
short, it is true, but we are sometimes drawn 
together by an invisible link, a sympathy of 
tastes and sentiments, which unites us more 
closely than years of acquaintanceship, where 
no such attraction existed, could have done. It 
was thus with St. Pierre and myself. From 
the moment he had heard of my near relation 
to his early friend and brother in arms, he had 
looked upon me as a son. Time had not 
quenched the enthusiastic ardour of his dispo- 
sition, which responded well to my own, and 
often when I listened to him, I fancied I saw a 
Bayard, or a Duguesclin, who having exchanged 
his sword for a plough-share, had retired from 
the turmoils of life. But to be brief — 


" Some weeks elapsed before I could obtain 
even a day's leave of absence. I heard frt 
quently from the good priest, but Constance 
had not as yet replied to any of my letters. I 
learned from him that her grief, at first uncon- 
trollable, was gradually becoming less violent, 
and that she bade him with tears, say every 
thing that was kind for her to me. 

"A short leave of absence was at length 
granted, and I flew to cheer the spirits of my 
drooping Constance. 

" Our meeting was one of unrepressed sor- 
row, and our bridal feast was drowned in tears. 
If, in the weeks I had had for reflection, some 
doubts of the prudence of my conduct, and 
fears for the anger of my father, had insinuated 
themselves into my mind, like the mists of 
night before the rising sun, they were all dissi- 
pated by the presence of Constance. 

" I had admired and loved he^ for her beauty 
and artless simplicity, but 1 soon found that 
these were the least valuable of nature's gifts, 

L 3 


and that she possessed a noble, lovely, and 
pure mind, a clear understanding and a sense, 
beyond her years, together with a warmth of 
affection, and a devotedness of heart, which 
were now entirely concentrated upon her hus- 
band — she did not seem to have a thought for 



Oft will she rise — with searching glance pursue 
Some long-lov'd image vanish'd from her view ; 
Dart through the deep recesses of the past, 
O'er dusky forms in chains of slumber cast ; 
With giant-grasp fling back the folds of night, 
And snatch the faithless fugitive to light. 


" I WAS perfectly open in my communications 
to Constance. I did not conceal from her my 
father's projects, and the grief that I knew my 
marriage would occasion him. 

" She heard me with a deep sigh, and said^ 
^ would that the death-bed of my poor lost 
father could have been made happy at a less 


expense, dear Bertrand, than that of your sacri- 
ficing your duty to your own parent. 

" ' Ah I you thought too much of him, too 
much of me, too Utile of yourself, but you 
must not spend all your leave of absence here, 
you must go to your father, and tell him all 
without any reservation. An only child is so 
very dear, he will surely forgive you. Tell 
him we will only live to make him happy, pro- 
mise me to go immediately.' 

" I clasped my beautiful monitress to my 
heart ; 1 felt the truth of what she said ; I had 
indeed failed in the duty I owed my father, yet 
I could not repent the rashness that had 
made her mine. Upon mature consideration, 
I determined to follow her advice, my most 
dutiful proceeding being now to confess my 
fault, and entreat forgiveness. 

" I was so fortunate as to get my leave of 
absence prolonged, and so was enabled to 
spend more time than I had at first anticipated 
with my Constance. I at length, however, 


bade her a reluctant adieu, and hastened to 
throw myself at the feet of my father. 

" On arriving at my father's chateau, I 
found with inexpressible grief, that he had just 
met with an accident which had caused the 
rupture of a blood-vessel, and that although 
in no immediate danger, as the hemorrhage had 
ceased, he lay in such a state of exhaustion 
and weakness, that the slightest excitement 
might bring on a recurrence of the malady 
which would probably prove fatal. The medical 
man, who attended him, told me, that, at all 
events, his recovery would be slow, so that to 
speak to him on the subject I had so much at 
heart, during the short period I had to spend 
with him, would be totally impossible. 

" My father received me with unwonted ten- 
derness. Naturally of a reserved and taciturn 
disposition, although I knew that all his 
thoughts and hopes were centered in me, he 
had never, not even in my early youth, lavished 
on me that prodigality of affection which so 


often spoils an only child ; but now I found 
that his languid eye rested on rae with an ex- 
pression of the fondest parental love ; that 
my cares and attentions were preferred before 
every other, and that he was restless and un- 
comfortable when 1 was not beside his couch. 
I therefore took up my station entirely in his 
apartment, and attended him with unwearied 

'^ In a few days 1 had the happiness of see- 
ing my father's health, slowly, but gradually 
begin to mend. Judge, however, what were 
my feelings, when as soon as he had strength 
to speak upon the subject, T discovered that he 
had set his heart upon my immediately leaving 
the army, and expressed a hope that after that, 
at no distant period, he should see me united 
to the wife he had chosen for me. 

" It was with difficulty I concealed from my 
father the contending emotions his wishes and 
anticipations awakened in my bosom. In his 
present precarious state of health, I could not 


be SO cruel as to refuse giving up the service 
and taking up my abode at home, although I 
saw that, in so doing, I should divide myself for 
an indefinite period from my Constance. I 
dared not now reveal my marriage, but I deter- 
mined as soon as I could do so without endan- 
gering my father^s life, no matter what the 
consequences of his displeasure with respect to 
my future prospects might be (for I foresaw 
that his anger would be excessive), to avow to 
him the union which I had formed without his 
knowledge ; and should he forgive me, thought 
I, what a nurse will my Constance make for 
him, through those years of ill health which I 
fear are in store for him. 

" I was now obliged to return to my regiment 
as my leave of absence was expired. There 
were many things to be arranged before 1 could 
finally leave Grenoble, and some time must 
necessarily elapse before my resignation could 
be sent in and accepted. Under these circum- 
stances, however, T did not find the same dif- 


ficulty as before, in getting away for a few days, 
and very soon after my short sojourn under 
the paternal roof, I was enabled to repair to my 

*' Her pleasure at seeing me so soon again was 
damped by the intelligence I brought her of 
my father's illness, and the necessity of a post- 
ponement of all explanation ; but she quite 
agreed with me in the view I took of the sub- 
ject, and proposed that until I could openly de- 
clare my marriage, she should remain in her pre- 
sent residence. This cottage and plot of ground 
which St. Pierre had purchased on his leaving 
the army, was her own inheritance, and the two 
old domestics she knew would never forsake her. 
She would busy herself in country pursuits and 
try to cheat my absence with her bees and 
flowers, and wait patiently until I could set 
every thing to rights. 

" She tried to say all this with sweet uncom- 
plaining cheerfulness, and would, if she could, 
have hid from me the tears that filled her eyes. 


I lingered as long with my Constance as I could 
find a pretext for doing so, but my resignaticn 
was accepted — my father's letters were becom- 
ing more and more urgent, and I was forced to 
bid her a sorrowful adieu. 

" I found my father still weak, and much in- 
disposed. My presence, however, seemed to 
renovate his sinking spirits, and he was so 
anxious to have me always in his sight, that 1 
was obliged to spend part of each night in 
writing those letters which I daily sent my 
Constance. And now the days and hours crept 
slowly by — time for me seemed to have loaded 
his wings with lead, as month after month passed 
away, and still I saw no prospect of re-visiting 
my wife, while my father's wishes to see me mar- 
ried to Mademoiselle d'Orville, became every 
day more urgent. 

"All this irritation of mind, added to my 
misery, at being absent from Constance, as her 
period of trial approached, for she was soon to 
become a mother, had a visible effect upon my 


own health. At length, to my great surprise, 
my father, who had hitherto strenuously op- 
posed my leaving him even for a day, struck, 
I suppose, by my loss of appetite and pallor, 
proposed that I should make an excursion of a 
few weeks into one of the more remote pro- 
vinces for change of air, assuring me that he 
felt himself growing better every day, and add- 
ing, that he saw that my health was suffering 
from my long attendance upon him. 

" I know not if the joy that sparkled in my 
eyes at this proposition, excited any suspicion 
in the mind of my father. Be that as it may, 
he parted from me with undiminished kindness, 
and I flew on the wings of love to seek my 
soHtary Constance — but Constance was no 
longer solitary — the joyful mother presented to 
me a boy, beautiful as the pencil of the most 
imaginative painter could pourtray. 

'^Five happy weeks gHded swiftly by, and were 
to us both, but as one sweet summer day. 

^' The letters of my father were cheering — he 


spoke of his improved health — no longer al- 
luded to the marriage he had projected for me, 
and at length summoned me to return home. 

" Home ! was not my home with my Con- 
stance and my boy — the home of my heart? — 
but alas ! I was obliged to leave them ; never- 
theless, I prepared to go with the fond hope of 
soon re-visiting them again ; for now that my 
father's health was so much improved, I deter- 
mined that my marriage should no longer be a 
secret to him. 

"Winter was beginning to set in at the time of 
my departure. The trees were almost denuded 
of their leaves— the streams in the valleys, no 
longer meandering like silver rills, were many 
of them overflowed by the mountain torrents, 
and though as yet early in the season, the cold 
was severely felt. But to my eyes this wild 
spot was decked with far lovelier charms than 
the brightest spring could have bestowed upon 
it ; for did it not contain my dearest earthly 
treasures ? 

*' I found my father apparently quite con vales- 


cent. He received me with an affectionate 
tenderness, that pierced me to the heart, com- 
mending my improved appearance, and saying, 
that the cares and attentions I had lavished on 
him had, he knew, been detrimental to my 
health, but that it was entirely to them he owed 
his present recovery. This paternal reception 
80 softened my heart, that, forgetting the plan 
I had previously laid out for myself, and the 
little preparatory measures I had intended to 
make use of before daring to break my marriage 
to my father, I precipitately threw myself at 
his feet, and without any ameliorating circum- 
stances, revealed to him my fault. 

" My father, with evident surprise and much 
emotion, raised me from the ground, and bade 
me tell him all the particulars from the begin- 
ning. He was much moved at the recital of 
the death of St. Pierre, who, I afterwards found 
he had learned from my deceased uncle, had 
perilled his own life more than once, to save 
that of his brother. 


'^ I had prepared myself for a burst of anger 
and for bitter reproaches, and had hoped that 
after that, my father's displeasure might have 
been softened, but I had never looked for the 
unqualified forgiveness and paternal love which 
that kind father now displayed towards me, and 
I wept like a child as he folded me in his 

" The mention of my boy made his eyes fill 
with tears, and then sparkle with pleasure, and 
he asked me a thousand questions about my 
beautiful Constance. 

** O happy hours ! what blissful anticipations 
now filled my mind ! years of felicity appeared 
before me — I saw in imagination, my Constance 
assisting me to cheer the dechning years of my 
father, and my boy frolicking about his kind 
grandsire, and climbing on his knees. I re- 
mained but a short time at the chateau, before 
1 again, by my father's earnest desire, took the 
road to Grenoble, commissioned by him, O 
inexpressible transport ! to bring back my wife 


and child, while he busied himself in overlook- 
ing the alterations and improvements he had 
already began to make in the apartments de- 
stined for their reception. The old domestics 
were to remain in the cottage, and we were to 
keep it as a place for summer excursions. 

" The winter was quite set in, but I heeded 
not the increasing coldness of the atmosphere. 
My Constance and her babe, hardy plants of 
Alpine growth, with the precautions I should 
take, would be but little inconvenienced by 
a journey, that to the inhabitants of more 
southern provinces might have appeared for- 
midable. As I approached the vicinity of the 
Alps, I perceived that there had been a con- 
siderable fall of snow — the tall fir trees, white 
as the ostrich plume, nodded in the blast, the 
rivulets no longer danced and foamed merrily 
along, but seemed to creep sluggishly beneath 
the incumbent weight that oppressed them, 
and when I arrived at Grenoble, I heard with 
dismay, that a violent storm had raged the 


preceding night, and that in some places, the 
entrance into the valleys was choked up by the 
snow which had fallen from the overhanging 

'' This was not all, there was a rumour abroad 
that the mhabitants of a small hamlet at the 
foot of the Alps, had been in imminent danger 
a few days before, of being buried alive, by an 
avalanche which had fallen close to them, 
several of their flocks having been swallowed 
up, and it was feared that many accidents as 
yet unknown, must have occurred on the 
preceding night. Terrified at this information, 
although it was already late in the day, when I 
arrived at Grenoble, I set off with all speed for 

the village of where I heard a fearful 

confirmation of the intelligence. As yet, how- 
ever, my treasures appeared to be safe, for the 
accidents alluded to, had not occurred in the 
vicinity of the spot where lay the cottage of my 

*' It was now dark, but the night, though in- 


tensely cold, was calm, far different from the 
tumult of the preceding one, of whose violence, 
the prostrate trunks of trees, broken branches, 
and fragments of rock, scattered about in every 
direction, gave evidence. 

" Although I knew every step of the way per- 
fectly, still I had a guide with lights, to facili- 
tate my progress, anticipating all the time, the 
wonder and delight of my Constance, at be- 
holding me so soon again. We were now but 
a short distance from the spot — my heart beat 
high with joy — every fear had vanished as we 
proceeded along, and I had recognised one after 
the other, by the hght of the torches, every 
well known tree and rock standing in its ac- 
customed place, unmoved by the storm and 
looking as of yore. 

" I approached nearer to the dwelling of my 
Constance — but where are the trees and shrubs 
with which it was surrounded ? — The flambeaux 
were held on high, but, O my God, do I live to 
tell it ? — the platform on which the cottage 


stood, was no longer to be seen — an immense 
mound of snow alone occupied its place. 

" The fatal truth burst upon my mind at once 
with a conviction, so terrible, so overwhelming, 
that 1 stood rooted to the spot, unable to speak 
or move — memory, consciousness and reason 
itself forsook me." (The abbe paused, and 
covered his face for a moment, while Isabelle, 
petrified with the tale, clasped her hands and 
raised her eyes to heaven — at length he con- 
tinued — ) 

" Be not surprised, my child — for two years 
I was the inmate of a mad house ; but insanity 
to me, was not an oblivion of the past, for 
amidst all my ravings and delirium, a horrible 
dread — a consciousness of being the victim of 
some dire calamity, was always uppermost in 
my agonized mind. 

" At length, reason re- visited my soul, but as 
memory brought every minute circumstance or 
the past clearly to my recollection, my over- 
powering grief, heightened too, by finding that 



my kind father was no more, would soon have 
brought on a return of my malady, had not a 
new light broke upon my mind, and religion, 
with all her soothing hopes, balmy influences, 
and blessed consolations, come to my relief. 

" I now saw my Constance in my nightly 
dreams, fair as the most beautiful representation 
which the painters have given of our Madonna. 
' Bertrand,' would she say with an angelic 
smile, as she clasped her baby to her heart — 
* weep not for us, for we are among the blessed, 
in a region far lovelier than the one we have 
left — weep not for us, dear Bertrand — think 
only of the exquisite happiness of being united 
to us here, in an eternity of love.' 

*' And my father — my good, kind father, 
whose paternal affection I had so long dis- 
trusted — I saw him too, — frequently he joined 
the happy group, and bent over me with an 
approving smile. 

" Once, before I left that part of the country, 
1 visited the tomb of my Constance. Yes, her 


tomb, for cold, and white, and pure as herself, 
that colossal monument remained impervious 
to every sunbeam over its unfortunate victims. 
*' And now, my child, you know my story. 
I am no longer unhappy, and T wait patiently 
for my appointed time. I serve my God with 
all my heart, and mind, and soul, and strength — 
I give my goods to the poor — I visit the afflicted, 
and I humbly hope that my imperfect endea- 
vours may, through faith in my Redeemer, be 
accepted, and that I sh^U enjoy an eternal 
hereafter with the loved ones I have lost." 

Here the good abbe ceased speaking, and 
Isabelle felt there were afflictions in this world 
far beyond her own. 

And now we must leave Isabelle engaged in 
making her preparations for returning to the 
convent of St. Agnes, and see what became of 
De Montfort after that eventful evening, when, 
in the midst of the tempest, he departed so 
abruptly from the Chateau de Beaumont. 

M 2 



But he for paine and lacke of bloude 
Was fallen into ff'swounde. 

And there all weltering in his gore. 
Lay lifeless on the grounde. 

Sir Cauline. 

We will not attempt to describe the contend- 
ing passions that raged in the bosom of De 
Montfort, upon discovering round the neck 
of Isabelle the identical locket which con- 
tained the miniature of De Cressy. It would 
be impossible to depict the storm that swept 
through his soul as he rushed out of the con- 
servatory — the more violent for the enchanting 


calm which had preceded it just before. It 

was, as if upon the beautiful Eden of some 

unknown island in a southern hemisphere, just 

opening upon the eye of the sick and weary 


" a mingled mass 
Of roaring winds and flames, and rushing floods/' 

had at once descended. 

Neither will we follow him in his journey to 
Paris, nor descant upon the hurried farewell he 
took of his father the Count de Beaumont, and 
of the grief and disappointment the latter felt 
at this unlooked-for resolution of his son — 
neither shall we enter into particulars concern- 
ing the chagrin of the valet Fran9ois, at being 
prevented by the absence of the Marchioness de 
Varville from Paris, during the short stay that 
his master made in that city, from placing in 
her hands the important packet which he had 
so nefariously obtained from Victorine, con- 
taining the letter and miniature which Isabelle 
had sent to her husband. All these, together 


with an account of the various places De Mont- 
fort wandered about in for a couple of months, 
in a vain endeavour to fly from thought and 
reflection, we must beg leave to pass over, and 
will present our hero in company with Franfois, 
travelling on horseback, late in a fine autumnal 
day, through an extensive forest in Germany, 
on his way to visit his old friend Count Her- 
man, at whose castle he purposed spending a 
short time, before proceeding to join his uncle 
at Constantinople, this latter place being his 
ultimate destination. 

The evening was just beginning to close in, 
and the foliage, although tinted with the 
brightest autumnal hues, still hung so thickly 
upon the trees as to prevent the eye from 
piercing through the dense mass, which pre- 
sented itself on every side. Our travellers were 
come to a spot where three foot-paths branched 
off in different directions, and De Montfort, 
who had been riding on slowly and thought- 
fully before his valet for some time, now 


paused to consider which of those paths they 
ought to choose. Looking at his watch, he re- 
marked to Frangois, that he feared they must 
have deviated from the direct tract since they 
had entered the forest, as according to the in- 
formation they had received at the village which 
they had last passed through, they ought to 
be at present, at least, a league beyond the 

To these remarks Francois could offer no- 
thing but an assent, the valet in fact was much 
terrified, having heard at the village where they 
had slept the preceding night, many tales of 
the outrages perpetrated by the banditti who 
roved through the forests, but he did not dare 
to mention his fears to his master, who had, on 
more than one occasion, sternly reproved him 
for his pusillanimity. 

That his apprehensions, however, at this 
time were not groundless, the result proved, 
for De Montfort had hardly finished deliber- 
ating which course he should pursue, when 
three fierce looking ruffians, well armed, sud- 


denly appeared in the horse path he was about 
to take, and one of them, catching his horse 
by the bridle, called upon him to surrender, in 
very intelligible German. De Monttort, in- 
stead of complying, replied by firing a pistol 
at the aggressor, which immediately took 
effect. The man, letting go the bridle, fell to the 
ground, and De Montfort, springing from his 
horse, hastened to the relief of Frangois, whom 
the other two men had dismounted. 

Had no assistance intervened, the combat 
would soon have been at an end, as De Mont- 
fort singly, from his superior skill, was quite 
a match for the two ruffians, Frangois being 
unable to take any part in it, as he was lying 
insensible under the horses' hoofs. But in a 
few seconds, a dozen more of the banditti, who 
had been collected together, at a short dis- 
tance, hearing the report of fire-arms, dashed 
through the thicket, and one of them from be- 
hind, with a thrust of his sword, 'disabled De 
Montfort's right arm, while a heavy blow on 


his head, from the butt-end of a musket, laid 
him nearly senseless on the earth. 

Stunned and bleeding, De Montfort saw that 
his last moments were arrived ; he heard the 
exclamations of the bandits, he perceived the 
glittering of the swords waving over his head, 
ready to dispatch him : at this very instant, 
however, and when all consciousness was nearly 
gone, a female form interposed between him 
and the death that hung over him. Hollowly 
and indistinctly the contending voices fell on 
his ear, and the name of Welf ! Welf ! he has 
killed our leader Welf ! he shall die ! uttered 
with great vociferation, were the last sounds 
that reached him, for before the sword could 
descend upon his doomed head, De Montfort 
had sunk into a death-like swoon. 

On recovering from the state of insensibility 
in which he had lain for several hours, De 
Montfort found himself in profound darkness. 

At first he felt so dizzy and stunned from 
the heavy blows he had received, that he was 

M 3 


unable to rise from the recumbent posture in 
which he lay on the damp cold earth, and when 
returning strength enabled him to change his 
position, he perceived that his hands and feet 
were tied with strong cords, and that although 
he might manage to sit upright, it was impos- 
sible for him to stand. Where he was he knew 
not, but he fancied it must be in some sub- 
terranean vault, as he could plainly distinguish 
the dashing of water against the walls ; and on 
raising his feeble voice, and shouting as loud as 
he could, the sound seemed to echo, and re- 
verberate in a thousand different directions — 
but except the plashing of the water, and the 
hollow echoes around, no other sound met his 
ear. Why had they not murdered him, and 
for what was he reserved ? was he to remain in 
this dreadful dungeon, without even a drop of 
water to assuage the burning thirst which the 
monotonous plashing of the water without, 
rendered still more excessive ? 

And now De Montfort endeavoured to recal 


every circumstance of the past fray. He re- 
collected the shining blades that were raised 
over his head, when overpowered by numbers 
and stunned by heavy blows he lay prostrate 
on the ground, and how a female figure had 
darted forward at the very moment that death 
seemed inevitable, and interposing herself be- 
tween him and his opponents, imperiously and 
haughtily demanded his life. He could recal 
no more, but who was she ? His glazing eye 
could not at the time distinguish her features, 
but her voice was not unfamiliar to his ear — 
why had she saved him from the uplifted 
sword ? not surely to leave him in this dungeon 
to die. 

Several hours — an interminable age they ap- 
peared to De Montfort — elapsed while he lay 
thus, faint and bruised, and consumed by an 
intolerable thirst. At length a flickering moon- 
beam made its way into his prison, discover- 
ing to him a narrow loop hole in the wall of 
the dungeon, high above his head. It was 


but a faint streak of light, when he first fixed 
his eye upon it, but gradually the aperture 
through which it streamed, appeared to en- 
large, and he thought he could distinguish the 
rustling of bushes and brambles that seemed 
to be broken away with a stealthy hand, and 
soon he could hear a sound, as if small stones 
and mortar were being loosened and cautiously 
removed. And now De Montfort again tried 
to i*ise, and to free his limbs from the cords 
with which he was bound, but all these eflforts 
only served fruitlessly to exhaust the little 
strength that remained, and he was obliged to 
wait patiently the result of the endeavours, that 
he was certain some unknown friend was 
making to extricate him. After watching with 
much interest and curiosity for some ten 
minutes, while the above mentioned work was 
going on, the sounds ceased, and De Montfort 
heard a low shrill whistle as if given as a sig- 
nal — then the light was interrupted for a 
moment — something passed through the nar- 


row aperture, which did not appear of greater 
dimensions than would admit a squirrel or a 
fox, and a scrambling of feet was plainly dis- 
tinguishable down the wall of the dungeon. 
Presently a body, De Montfort could not tell 
whether of the canine, feline or human species, - 
reached the ground ; it could not be either of 
the two former, however, for a flint was struck, 
a light obtained, and the next instant the slight 
form of a little dark-looking boy was bending 
over him. The child, for he could not be more 
than eight or nine years old at the utmost, 
made a gesture of wild joy, and clapped his 
hands triumphantly, then pulling out a clasp 
knife, set about cutting the cords that bound 
De Montfort, which he did with much dex- 
terity, all the time uttering exclamations of 
delight, some in a strange patois, some in Ger- 
man, and looking at him with sparkling eyes, 
that seemed ready to dart out of their deep 
sockets. The light afforded by the lamp 
which the boy had placed on the ground be- 


side him, was so fitful and indistinct as to 
prevent De Montfort from immediately re- 
cognizing the features of his gipsy visitant, 
who perceiving it, said to him reproachfully, 

" I remembered you the instant I saw you, 
but you forget me entirely. Zanina greets 
you by me, and sends you this scroll — but 
first you must drink some of this brandy 
and water — Zanina said so ;'^ and so saying, 
the boy held a small leathern bottle to De 
Montfort's lips, who was so much refreshed 
by it, as to be able to stand upright, and now 
perceived with unspeakable joy that it was his 
old acquaintance, the gipsy child, who stood 
before him. 

The paper contained nothing but those few 
words : 

" Fear nothing, but follow the boy, he knows 
the intricacies of the vaults." 

'* I have got the key,*' continued Otto, for 
such was the child's name, and he pointed to 
a huge key tied to his waist ; '^ they thought I 


was but a child, and they never minded me 
as I stole after them, when they brought you 
here, but I heard all they said, you had killed 
their chieftain Welf, and they swore that in 
spite of Zanina, if you were not dead before the 
morning, they would throw you into the smoth- 
ering hole at the dawn of day — I watched where 
old Feldek hung up the key of the secret door 
that opens on the river, and I took it to Zanina, 
— but the door can be only unlocked on the in- 
side — how were we to get in — Zanina was in 
despair. The wild cat of the forest cannot climb 
half so well as I can — I told her of the loop- 
hole 1 had discovered the other day, when I 
clambered after an owl, and so we settled it 

Thus chattered the fearless little urchin, in a 
low voice, as he cautiously led the way along 
the slimy ground. Suddenly he paused, and 
raising the lantern on high, called De Mont- 
fort^s attention to a deep hole full of green 
sluggish water, close to which they had to pass. 


An immense toad sat upon the edge of it, and 
seemed to fix its portentous eyes with no 
friendly glance upon the intruders. 

" That is the smothering hole," said the boy, 
shuddering, and De Montfort could hardly re- 
strain a shudder too as he looked at it. 

*' We must throw your cloak on the edge of 
it," continued the sharp witted urchin, " and 
the bandits will be sure you crawled into it in 
the night ;*' so saying, he took De Montfort^s 
cloak from him and arranged it carefully on the 
brink of the pit. 

The boy was now silent— the sight of the 
loathsome hole, and the evil spirit that seemed 
to watch over it, in the shape of the huge toad, 
had an evident effect in checking his spirits, 
and he moved so rapidly towards a flight of 
steps, whose appearance gave hope of a speedy 
exit from this gloomy dungeon, that De Mont- 
fort in his present weak state, could hardly 
keep up with him. The steps, broken away in 
many parts, were, with some difficulty, sur- 


mounted, and were found to terminate in a low 
iron door. It required all the strength De 
Montfort could exert, with the assistance of 
Otto, to turn the key in the rusty and seldom 
used lock, but their united exertions succeeded — 
the door grated on its rusty hinges — it opened, 
and the night air blew deliciously fresh through 
the aperture. 

Taking out the key, they now proceeded to 
close the door, which shut with a spring, and 
forcing their way through the bushes and bram- 
bles which concealed it, they stood upon a nar- 
row ledge of rock, on the verge of the riverj 
and on looking upwards, De Montfort per- 
ceived that he was directly beneath the huge 
walls of an old castle, which towered to an im- 
mense height above him, and in the dungeons 
of which he had been immured. 

A small boat was lying close to the bank, 
containing a single female in it, who proved to 
be Zanina herself. Few words were exchanged, 
she motioned De Montfort to enter at once, 


while the young Otto, who had darted away in 
order to return the key to the place from whence 
he had stolen it, was to join them at the dis- 
tance of about half a mile further down the 
river, and such speed did the gipsy boy make, 
that long before they arrived at the spot, he was 
there waiting for them. 

The little boat had glided on with wonderful 
rapidity, impelled by Zanina's skilful hand. 

No sound was emitted by the muffled oars, 
and the moon having hidden herself behind the 
clouds, there was not the smallest ray of light 
to reveal her course. All seemed hushed in the 
deepest repose, and even the low sobs of the 
autumnal wind, scarcely broke the stillness of 
the night. And now Otto jumped in, and still 
on, on they speeded down the stream, now close 
to one bank, now veering over to the other, the 
little Otto steering the boat with a precision 
that shewed he well knew every eddy and sand 
bank in the river. Having rowed thus for about 
two leagues, Zanina at last turned the boat into 


a small indentation in the bank, and the young 
Otto jumping on shore, drew it under a thicket 
of hazel bushes, where he fastened it securely. 
Assisting the exhausted De Montfort to leave 
the boat, Zanina then led him up a narrow and 
intricate path, which she must have been well 
acquainted with, to have trodden so securely in 
the gloom, and paused before a dark mass of 
rock that seemed to raise an impenetrable bar- 
rier before them. 

After groping about for a few seconds, Za- 
nina knocked, with a small wand which she 
carried in her hand, on the face of the rock, 
uttering at the same time a few words, in a low 
but clear voice, and presently a door was opened 
in the side of the cliff, by a female somewhat 
advanced in years, and the interior of a spacious 
hut displayed to view, cheerfully lighted up by 
a large fire of pine wood. 

" You have tarried long, Zanina,'^ said the 
person who opened the door, " I have waited 
up for you all the night.'' 


" Excuse me, my dear aunt,'' replied Zanina, 
" I have had much to do, and have much to tell 
you, but first I must entreat you to provide for 
the care and entertainment of a wounded friend 
1 have brought with me." 

The female addressed, who though old and 
withered, was of a gentle aspect, while Zanina 
was speaking, looked inquiringly and compassion- 
ately atDe Montfort, as, pale and haggard from 
loss of blood and exhaustion, he leaned against 
the rock for support, the light from the wood 
fire flashing directly upon him ; and giving him 
a cordial welcome, she bade them enter the rus- 
tic dwelling without delay. 

The door was now closed, securing the in- 
mates from all molestation, for so artfully was 
it contrived, that the most scrutinizing eye in 
open day, could discover nothing but a rock 
covered with brush-wood and lichens. 

After a slight refreshment, De Montfort was 
glad to seek the bed of dry leaves covered 
with skins, which the young Otto had been sent 


to prepare for him in a small room, or rather 
recess, skreened off from the larger one, by a 
rough partition formed of branches of trees in- 
terlaced with twigs. Here, however, though 
ill and wearv, he was unable to obtain that re- 
pose he so much stood in need of, sleep being 
entirely banished by a few sentences which were 
uttered by Zanina and her companion in the 
adjoining apartment. 

" You will now be released from your long 
attendance upon the poor Marchioness Lore- 
dan,'* said Zanina, *' for Welf is dead — he fell 
this day by the hand of the Baron de Montfort, 
who sleeps yonder." 

" Is Welf indeed dead ?" replied her com- 
panion, " would it had been sooner — the poor 
Marchioness died a few days ago in her dismal 

"Poor lady !" said Zanina, " how dreadfully 
was she punished for her infatuation in marry- 
ing Welf ! — how came it that he ever permitted 
you to see her V* 


^^ The monster would never have allowed me 
to visit her, but that he knew that I was at- 
tached to her, and would see she was taken care 
of, and it was an object to him to keep her alive, 
as great part of her wealth died with her. Her 
escape was impossible, as two of his bandits 
always kept watch day and night at the foot of 
the tower in which she was imprisoned— death 
was a release to her, and I did not regret her, 
but I do now as Welf is gone. 

"The beginning of WelPs cruelty was the 
separating her from her pretty niece, and pre- 
venting any communication with any of her 
relatives, and to the day of her death the poor 
Marchioness never could find out what became 
of her dear Agnes, as she used to call Made- 
moiselle de " (De Montfort thought he 

heard the name of Valcour, but no it could not 
be that name.) 

And now the voices became lower, still the 
conversation was continued, and De Montfort 
caught a few words here and there — " Isabelle 


De Montfort, so beautiful, so good," was mur- 
mured by Zanina, and then he heard an excla- 
mation of surprise from her companion. Then 
broken sentences containing allusions to the 
night he plunged into the Lagune at Venice, — to 
the church of the Salute, — and to his bridal with 
Isabelle, filled his mind with the most exciting 
and painful curiosity. 

How was it that those mysterious people 
seemed to know the history of his past — his 
present — his entire existence ? 



But soon within that mirror, huge and high, 
Was seen a self emitted light to gleam, 

And forms upon its breast the earl 'gan spy, 
Cloudy and indistinct, as feverish dream. 

Walter Scott. 

The strange conversation which he had over- 
heard between the gipsies, added to his uncer- 
tainty about the fate of Fran9ois, of whom he 
could obtain no tidings from them, so fevered 
and irritated the mind of De Montfort, that the 
dawn of day, as it peeped through a window, 
artfully constructed in a crevice of the rock, still 


found him watching. His wounds and bruises 
were more painful than when he had lain down, 
and he was so weak as to be unable to rise from 
his leafy couch. 

The young Otto, who had crept in soon after 
sunrise to look at him, and see if he was asleep, 
ran to tell his mother that he was sure their 
guest was worse. 

Zanina now summoned the elder gipsy who 
was a skilful leech, to examine the bruises of 
De Montfort, which Nina, for she was no other 
than our old acquaintance who had the charge 
of Isabelle at Venice, did with great gentleness 
and dexterity. 

Her first care was to look at the wound in 
his arm, which she pronounced to be but slight, 
and then, after applying to that and his other 
bruises the cooling leaves of a healing plant, 
which she had gathered in the woods, she ad- 
ministered to him a soothing potion, and bade 
Otto bring her word when he slept. 

During the short time that the gipsy was ad- 



ministering to him those medicaments, she made 
use of so many ceremonies and mystical words 
that De Montfort, despite the weak state he 
was in, at first resisted their appHcation, declaring 
that he was a Christian and a knight, and would 
have nothing to say to their heathenish devilries ; 
but to this Nina mildly replied, that, though a 
gipsy by birth, she had spent the greater part 
of her life domesticated in a noble family at 
Venice, and had often frequented Christian 
churches, as she would prove to him by and by. 
Pacified by this assertion, De Montfort made 
no farther opposition to her treatment, and a 
slumber so profound and refreshing followed, 
that towards evening he was enabled to leave 
the apartment allotted to him, and join the 
gipsy party assembled round the bright wood 
fire, which sparkled and crackled in one corner 
of the hut. He was, however, still weak, and 
reclined upon a low cushion, which the little 
Otto had carefully arranged for him in the 
warmest part of the room. 


De Montfort now learned from Zanina that 
she had, some short time since been, to attend 
the death bed of the old man her father, and was 
now on her way to Vienna with her little son 
Otto, where she purposed to remain for some 
months — that about a week ago, one of her com- 
panions, with whom she journeyed, had been 
taken so ill, that they were obliged to halt in 
the forest, and so had accidentally fallen in with 
the bandits. 

This mention of the bandits suddenly aroused 
the attention of Otto, who, after he had arranged 
the cushions for De Montfort, had retired into 
a distant corner, and appeared to be busily en- 
gaged in some occupation of his own, and he 
exclaimed, — 

** Mother, I have been up the river to day in 
the boat, and I have seen Feldek." 

"You have seen Feldek have you?" said 
Zanina with some uneasiness. *' Has he spoken 
to you of the Baron de Montfort's escape from 
the dungeon?" 

N 2 


'* No, mother,'^ said the boy exultingly, " he 
dreams not of it. He bade me tell you, that 
their prisoner, for whom you were so much in- 
terested, in groping about the vault, must have 
fallen into the smothering hole, as they had 
found his cloak lying on the edge of it, and that 
they had thrown the body of his valet after him 
to keep him company." 

'* Dreadful I" said De Montfort, shuddering, 
who thus saw his worst fears realized with re- 
spect to the unfortunate Frangois. 

The silence that ensued was interrupted by 
Otto, who still remained intent upon his work 
at the extremity of the apartment. 

'• I pray thee, good aunt Nina, lend me your 
scissors," said he, '^ I want to rip open a seam.'' 

''What hast thou got there, child?" replied 
Nina, " where is thy knife, canst thou not cut 
it?" ; 

'' It is a goodly doublet," returned the boy, 
" which I found in the forest this afternoon. I 
like not to mar it v\ ha knife." 


Nina upon this took the scissors from her 
girdle, and gave them to the child, who con- 
tinued silently at his employment. 

All this time De Montfort recHned upon the 
cushion, his eyes fixed upon the fire, as if watch- 
ing the dancing of the quivering flame, his 
thoughts now recurring to poor Fran9ois, and 
then wandering to the conversation he had 
overheard the preceding night between the 

" You have resided in Venice, have you not ?" 
he at length abruptly said, addressing the elder 

Zanina turned a piercing look on him, and 
her companion replied in the affirmative. 

" I once spent some weeks there,'* continued 
De Montfort, *^it was at the time of the car- 
nival in the year *^ 

" I remember it well,*' replied Nina, " I was 
living in Venice at that time, myself.^' 

" It is not probable we ever met before now,'' 
rejoined De Montfort, " and yet I know not 


why, but there seems some mysterious link be- 
tween you and me which I cannot fathom.'^ 

'' I was at thy side the night thou didst entreat 
for the Httle cross, from one whom thou hast 
since forgotten,'* repHed Nina. 

" What/' exclaimed De Montfort with much 
surprise, " didst thou accompany the beautiful 
Agnes to the Church of the Salute ?'' 

*' Even so,'' replied the gipsy, " I was then 
her attendant ; but had I known the false heart 
that was proffered to her, she should never have 
accepted it." 

'^ I was but a few days absent from Venice," 
rejoined De Montfort, " and on my return I 
sought for her every where in vain, she was 
gone, and I could gain no tidings of her, nor of 
any of her kindred." 

" And when thou didst find her," interrupted 
Zanina, " and she became thy wife, didst thou 
prize the treasure that was bestowed upon thee ? 
— if thou didst, wherefore art thou now on thy 
way to Constantinople? — why hast thou left thy 


beautiful Isabelle, or Agnes if thou likest better 
so to call her, to weep and lament her sad fate 
in solitude V 

^' I understand you not — I know not who you 
mean," exclaimed the astonished De Montfort. 
" What connexion can there be between the 
young Agnes I wooed in the church of the Sa- 
lute, and the bride whose unwilling hand Louis 
the Fourteenth bestowed upon me ?" 

" Isabelle de Valcour was the name of the 
young maiden for whom thou periledst thy 
life in the Lagune at Venice," replied Nina ; 
" her second baptismal appellation was Agnes, 
and it was a fancy of the poor Marchioness 
Loredan to call her always by that name." 

" It is impossible — it cannot be,*' said De 
Montfort with increasing agitation ; but at the 
very moment he spoke, the recollection of the 
gipsy song which Isabelle had sung at the cha- 
teau d'Anglures, and her subsequent fainting, 
flashed across his mind, and he paused — then 
he added — 

" But what avails it now to me, to know 


this, if it be indeed true — Isabelle loves me not — 
her heart is given to another.^' 

*' Believe hira not, good aunt," interrupted 
Zanina ; " such is not the case, the baron de- 
ceives thee, or he is himself misled by false 
appearances ; even now, Isabelle weeps his 
absence, and her thoughts are occupied with 
him alone. But thou shalt be convinced, 
despite thyself," continued Zanina, turning 
towards De Montfort, and rising from her seat, 
she suddenly placed before his startled eyes, a 
small pocket mirror, on which the flame of the 
blazing logs of pine wood, throwing a dazzling 
light, revealed to his astonished gaze the lovely 
form of Isabelle, arrayed in the sombre gar- 
ments of a nun, with the white veil betokening 
her noviciate, falling over her shoulders. 

The cell, for it was none other than a cell in 
the convent of St. Agnes, chilled the eye with 
its dark, cold walls, and contained no furniture, 
but a small sleeping couch with a single table 
and chair. 


Isabelle was sitting at the table — she had 
apparently been engaged in painting, from the 
materials that lay before her, and was at this 
moment intently examining a picture, nearly 
finished, which she held in her hand. So vividly 
was this scene pourtrayed, that De Montfort 
saw at a glance, it was a miniature likeness of 
himself, on which her pencil had been em- 
ployed, and even while he looked, a large tear 
rolled down Isabelle's cheek and fell upon the 

Fascinated by the objects before him — trans- 
fixed and motionless, De Montfort at first 
scarcely breathed, then he started as if from 
a dream, and pushing away the mirror, ex- 

** Delude me not with this vision — enchant- 
ing as it may be, it is but the effect of thy 
unholy arts and incantations." 

" Stigmatize not so harshly," replied Zanina, 
proudly, and removing the mirror from before 
his sight, while she spoke, " condemn not thus, 

N 3 


the secrets which have been handed down to 
us, wanderers upon the earth, from the most 
learned of mankind, our ancestors the Egyp- 
tians. If to them, as we have indubitable 
proof of it, were revealed the mysteries of the 
stars and a knowledge of the occult sciences, 
and of various secrets long lost to the succeed- 
ing generations of men, wonder not, if some 
small remnants of their ancient skill still linger 
among a few favoured ones of us, their de- 
scendants, and if- " here Zanina was in- 
terrupted by the young Otto, who sprung 
forward, holding up a glittering trinket, with 
childish glee, and exclaiming — 

" Mother ! mother ! look at this beautiful 
little golden ornament, you must hang it to the 
chain you have put away for me, until I am a 
grown man.^' 

" What is this ? — where didst thou find it ?" 
said Zanina, taking a small locket from the 
boy's hand, and holding it towards the light 
of the fire. It caught De Montfort's eye, and 


with an exclamation of surprise, he requested 
Zanina to allow him to look at it, which she 
immediately did. 

" Good Heavens ! where can this have come 
from?" said De Montfort, as pressing the spring, 
the locket flew open, and disclosed to him the 
miniature of himself, which had been painted 
at Venice, and which proved it to be the iden- 
tical locket he had with his own hands, tied 
round the neck of Agnes in the Church of the 

" It was in a letter," said the boy, looking 
half frightened at the emotion De Montfort 
displayed, and as if he feared he had some how 
or other done wrong, — " it was in a letter, sewed 
np in the lining of a doublet, I found this 
morning in the forest — the pockets were all 
empty — I felt something in the bosom of it, 
and I opened the seams and got this out." 

" And the letter — where is it ?" said De 
Montfort, eagerly. 

" I have not torn it," said the boy, going to 


the corner and gathering up the papers which 
he had thrown upon the floor, " I did but take 
this trinket out of it." 

De Montfort could scarcely believe his senses 
when Otto placed in his hands the few almost 
illegible lines which Isabelle had sent him on 
that eventful night, when almost mad with rage 
and jealousy, he had so suddenly left the Cha- 
teau d'Anglures. Those lines, so simple yet 
so touching, combined with the miniature 
which he held in his hand, at once extracted 
the poisoned arrow from his heart, which had 
so long rankled there — but while a flood of 
happiness burst upon his, until now, tortured 
mind, at thus having Isabelle's love and truth 
displayed clear as the sun at noonday, his joy 
was soon damped on considering what must be 
her feelings at his apparently inexplicable 
conduct." And this letter — this precious letter 
— why had Frangois so basely secreted it from 
him? — what plot against his peace and that of 
Isabelle, could this menial have been engaged in? 


Those thoughts quick as lightning passed 
through the mind of De Montfort, while his 
gipsy friends sat by, looking on him with 
curious eyes. At length he took up a crumpled 
envelope, which the young Otto had likewise 
placed before him, and saw with inexpressible 
surprise, it was directed to the Marchioness de 
Varville, while a scrawl on the inside, in the 
well known handwriting of his valet, gave him, 
at once a clew to unravel the mystery in which 
the transaction was enveloped. It ran thus — 

" My lady and honoured mistress, I send 
you enclosed in this, the last letter which has 
passed between the Baron and Baroness^De 
Montfort. One only of the baron's letters has 
escaped my vigilance, and that through the 
carelessness of Victorine — the packet I enclose 
is the answer to it. All the others have been 
heretofore faithfully intercepted, 

" Your trusty servant, 



De Montfort had no sooner read this letter, 
than he had a clear perception of the efforts 
the Marchioness de Varviile had made, assisted 
by the treachery of Francois and Victorine, to 
prevent all correspondence between him and 
Isabelle ; and he now plainly saw that he and 
his innocent wife had been the victims of the 
revengeful plots of a slighted woman. He was 
satisfied that no line of his, except the last 
letter, to which Francois alluded, had ever 
reached Isabelle, and that she had been, until 
then, perfectly unconscious of the state of his 
feehngs towards her, and when he thought of 
the artless efforts she had made at the Chateau 
d^Anglures, to soften what she must have con- 
sidered his flinty heart, and the unmistakeable 
pleasure she shewed, when, in spite of his 
doubts and suspicions, he had in a degree 
yielded to the fascination of her beauty and 
sweetness, he was almost beside himself with 
rage and indignation at the deceit that had been 
practised on him, and would willingly, if he 


could at the moment, have annihilated the per- 
^dious Clementine and her agents. 

A few words explained to the gipsies the 
treacherous conduct of Francois aad the con- 
sequences resulting from it. It was then ar- 
ranged, that on the morrow, should the baron's 
strength permit him to do so, they should all 
proceed to the nearest village, where De Mont- 
fort could procure a horse and such attendants 
as he thought fit, and from thence retrace his 
steps with all possible speed. At the same 
time, Zanina informed him, that Count Herman 
and his lady, at whose castle he might other- 
wise have been suppHed with every thing he 
wanted, as they were only a few leagues distant 
from it, were absent, having been spending 
some months at the court of Vienna. 

That night too, like the preceding one, was 
a sleepless night for De Montfort. * 

The glimpse which Zanina had given him of 
Isabelle, in the habit of a nun, filled his mind 
with new terrors, and he feared, lest before he 


could reach her, she might have consummated 
the sacrifice which her garb and place of abode 
plainly indicated she had in contemplation. 

On the morrow, notwithstanding many re- 
monstrances from Zanina on the score of his 
health, for he still looked ill and weak, De 
Montfort departed from Nina's rude habitation, 
and took the road to the village of . 

At Vienna, the baron had an interview of a 
few hours with his friend Count Herman and 
the beautiful Una, and from them he learned, 
that Ivan Michaelis had espoused the fair 
Anastasia, and was just at that period enjoying 
a short respite, in his native village, from the 
fatigues of war. 

Leaving De Montfort journeying on the 
wings of love towards France, we must now 
look back a little, and see how fares it with the 
melancholy Isabelle in the convent of St. 



How happy is the blameless Vestal's lot ! 
The world forgetting, by the world forgot : 
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind ! 
Each prayer accepted, and each wish resign'd : 
Labour and rest, that equal periods keep ; 
Obedient slumbers that can wake and weep -, 
Desires compos'd, affections ever ev'n ; 
Tears that delight, and sighs that waft to heav'n. 


IsABELLE returned to those beautiful scenes 
she had once loved so dearly — she saw again 
the good nuns who welcomed her with un- 
feigned pleasure. Agaiu she visited the poor 
peasantry whose children she had so often 
taught — a simple and primitive people, one of 
whom would not have exchanged, for the most 
favoured and luxuriant spot upon the earthy 


his rock, his cabin, and the torrent which 
dashed beside it — yet his life was a laborious 
life — frequently he might be seen, cultivating 
the precipitous side of his little field, while a 
rope attached to his waist, and fastened round 
the trunk of some tree, prevented him from 
being hurled down the perpendicular declivity. 
Again she traced the windings of the Gave, 
and sought out every deep ravine, and wooded 
height and mossy grot, the favourite haunts of 
her childhood and girlhood, but though as 
bright as ever sparkled the waters of the Gave, 
as fair bloomed the wild flowers, and as sweet 
smelt ihe health, though the birds sung as gaily 
and the sheep bells tinkled, and the wild bees 
flew from bud to blossom as of yore, no spring 
of happiness seemed to awaken in the blighted 
heart of Isabelle. 

Wearily, wearily passed her hours, and vain 
were her endeavours to banish the image of De 
Montfort from her mind. So vividly, so clearly 
was it engraven there, that a miniature she 
painted of him from memory, was as faithful a 


likeness as any that could have been taken by 
the most celebrated painter of the day. Yet 
when her work was completed, and she had 
fastened it to the chain which formerly held the 
locket, she felt that it was not thus the good 
Abbe de Saye would have recommended her to 
employ her time, and she tried by a closer at- 
tention to her religious duties, and by more 
sedulously visiting and instructing the poor, 
to rouse herself from that depressing torpor of 
the spirits, unvaried by a single hope or fear, 
which had of late taken possession of her 

The kind hearted nuns loojjed on the altered 
appearance of Isabelle with much anxiety, so 
different from what she used to be when under 
their instruction and care, while the abbess, not 
the same gentle being whom Isabelle had for- 
merly known there, but a nun from a neigh- 
bouring convent, of high rank and of austere 
aspect, newly promoted to that dignity, in- 
wardly rejoiced in the hope that this new in- 


mate of the convent might shortly be placed 
under her imperious sway, by becoming one of 
the professed sisterhood. 

Neither was this hope of the lady abbess 
without good foundation, for Isabelle, feeling so 
miserable in herself, and seeing the nuns 
around her looking so calm and contented, with 
'no care or concern to all appearance but for 
her, soon began to think, that once enrolled 
among their numbers, she too might enjoy the 
peace which was their portion. She had al- 
ready assimilated herself so far to their posi- 
tion, as to have assumed the dress of a nun ; 
and now this idea of taking the vows, having 
once presented itself to her mind, she deter- 
mined to lose no time in putting her intentions 
into practice, and having consulted the lady 
abbess, who heard her with undisguised joy, on 
the possibility of shortening the probation of 
a noviciate, it was finally arranged that the 
abbess should write to her kinsman, the Car- 
dinal G , then at the court of Rome, to 


obtain from the pope a permission for Isabelle 
to take the vows at once, without her being 
obHged to submit to the delay of wearing the 
white veil for a year. 

A letter from the cardinal was soon received 
by the abbess, enclosing the consent of the 
Pope to the prayer of the Baroness de Mont- 
fort. It brought besides the gratifying intelli- 
gence to the proud abbess, that as her kinsman 
the cardinal, was shortly to proceed to Paris on 
a mission from the court of Rome, he would 
take this opportunity to make a detour, and 
visit the convent of St. Agnes, and would thus 
be enabled himself, to be present and to assist 
at the holy ceremony. 

The abbess was internally wild with joy on 
receiving this letter, and had great difficulty in 
suppressing all outward demonstrations of how 
grateful to her proud and haughty spirit, was 
the additional pomp and importance the pre- 
sence of a cardinal would give to her convent 
on such an occasion, while Isabelle meekly 


prepared herself, by the strict seclusion and 
additional prayers and vigils which the abbess 
imposed on her, to fit herself for the solemn 
vow she was about to take. 

At length the day arrived, to which Isabelie 
had latterly directed all her thoughts and medi- 
tations, nor had she done so without success — 
the contemplation of it had begun to pour balm 
into her lacerated heart, worldly things were 
fading fast from her mind, the last link between 
her and earth would soon be broken. Even 
the image of De Montfort, when his image did 
intrude upon her, came surrounded by softened 
and more soothing reflections. Perhaps when her 
sacrifice was completed, and she was irrevocably 
divided from him upon earth, thoughts of their 
youthful love, and of the unkindness with 
which he had treated her, might rise before 
him, and memories of her, divested of every 
thing harsh that now grated upon his mind, 
sad and soft as the plaintive sighing of the 
night winds, or as the notes of a song once 


loved and then forgotten, might steal across 
him even in his brightest hour. 

The day, as we have said before, was ar- 
rived, and yet it could hardly be called the day, 
for the hour fixed upon by the lady abbess for 
the ceremony, in order to render it the more 
imposing, was the grey dawn of the twilight, 
when the shades of night are beginning to 
disperse.QI Already the solemn sound of the 
organ was heard mingling with the voices of 
the choral nuns. The altar was blazing with 
waxen lights, but the body of the church was 
but dimly illuminated, the lamps, scattered in 
various parts, only serving partially to reveal 
the long aisles of this ancient edifice, and to 
glance here and there upon the figures of the 
numerous spectators who were assembled on 
the occasion, the abbess having taken care it 
should be known for many leagues round, that 
a cardinal and a bishop were to assist in her 
convent at the profession of a novice of high 


The monks of a neighbouring abbey were 
ranged in the upper nave of the church, while 
the young novices, many of them dazzled with 
the pomp and splendour they beheld, and hoping 
one day themselves to be principal actors in so 
exciting a scene, arrayed in white with chaplets 
of fresh flowers round their heads, and forming 
a striking contrast to the subdued air and sober 
garb of the professed nuns, — scattered myrtles 
before the group, who slowly moved up the 
centre aisle on their way to the altar. 

The most conspicuous person in this group' 
was Isabelle. She was supported on one side 
by the cardinal, and attended by several priests. 
Pale and composed, with her dark eyes fixed 
upon the ground, and a something that was not 
of earth in her whole appearance, she "^ore not 
now the simple garb which she had adopted 
since her entrance into the convent, but accord- 
ing to the custom of those days, which demanded 
hat the novice should for the last time in her 
life, appear surrounded by that worldly splen- 


dour which she was about to abjure, her robe 
of the finest silk fell in rich folds to the ground, 
and the garland which bound her hair was 
formed of strings of pearls. And now the 
golden censerSj filled with odorous perfumes were 
tossed on high, — the organ swelled with a louder 
and more solemn peal, and then seemed, for an 
instant, to die away in plaintive sounds, amidst 
the reverberating echoes of the long aisles of 
the church. The group, upon whom all eyes 
were fixed, had arrived in front of the altar, 
and Isabelle took her place on the right hand 
beside the lord cardinal, while three priests as- 
cended the altar and commenced the celebration 
of the mass. 

When the first mass was concluded, the bishop 
pronounced an eloquent discourse, setting forth 
the happiness and purity of the conventual life, 
and the freedom from all earthly cares that was 
the portion of those who embraced it. 

The bishop ceased, and now the time was 
come for Isabelle to pronounce the fatal vow 

VOL. II. o 


that was to sever her from all earthly objects 
A white serge dress was thrown over her by the 
hands of the lady abbess, and the pearls and 
braids being removed from her brow by one of 
the nuns, her thick hair fell in clustering ring- 
lets over her shoulders, forming a veil as ample 
as the symbolical black one that was now to 
replace them. Already the fatal scissors were 
raised to sever those luxuriant tresses, when a 
man, who had been rapidly making his way 
through the crowd, arrived in breathless haste 
before the altar, and seizing the hand of the 
nun, who was about to cut off Isabelle's hair, 
peremptorily forbad the ceremony to proceed. 

The cardinal, the bishop, the priests, the lady 
abbess, the nuns, the spectators, were all thun- 
derstruck and aghast, at this daring and un- 
heard of act. 

The ceremony was completely interrupted. 
Isabelle, who immediately recognised De Mont- 
fort, fainted on hearing the sound of his voice. 
Holy water, whicli stood in a large vase close 


at hand, was sprinkled on her by the nuns who 
crowded round her, but to no purpose — all was 
confusion and dismay. At a sign from the 
cardinal, for the abbess was at first too much 
petrified to move, Isabelle was conveyed through 
a grated door not far from the altar, into a sort 
of cell or passage room communicating with 
the convent. Thither the cardinal, the lady 
abbess, and a few of the nuns followed, and De 
Montford, notwithstanding the efforts of the 
priests to restrain him, forced his way in like- 

" This is sacrilege," exclaimed the abbess, in 
a haughty voice ; " this interruption must not 
be — it is of her own wish and free will that sis- 
ter Agnes is about to take the vows — the pope 
himself has consented to shorten her noviciate, 
no intreaties can make a novice retract at such 
a moment." 

Isabelle, who had been placed upon a bench, 
after a second application of water, which was 
plentifully sprinkled upon her, began to revive, 

o 2 


but she trembled so violently, that sister Marie, 
a kind hearted nun, and one of her ancient 
friends, could scarcely support her. 

" Collect yourself— summon up all your ener- 
gies," whispered the good nun; *' you will be 
called upon to act, to decide for yourself 

Isabelle with a startled terrified air, looked 
around, and her eye fell upon De Montfort, 
who, pale and exhausted from rapid travelling 
and agitation, and not yet fully recovered from 
the wounds he had received, seemed nearly in 
as bad a plight as herself. He made an effort 
to approach her, but the indignant abbess step- 
ped between them and demanded of him, by 
what right he had dared to interrupt so solemn 
a ceremony. 

'< By that of a husband," replied De Mont- 
fort with firmness ; " the ceremony shall pro- 
ceed no further, until I have had five minutes 
conversation with the Baroness, my wife." 

" It shall proceed now," exclaimed the en- 


raged abbess, and seizing Isabelle by her hair, 
she would with her own hands have severed 
it from her head, had not the cardinal inter- 

" My good cousin/* said he to the abbess, 
" believe me I sympathize in your just indigna- 
tion, but this cannot be, we must not use force, 
all will be presently arranged to your satisfac- 
tion — sister Agnes is about to take the vows of 
her own choice — is she not ?^ — no undue influ- 
ence, you say, has been used.'' 

*^ Speak, my child," added he, in a bland and 
gentle tone, addressing Isabelle ; " is it not of 
your own free will, that you make your profes- 
sion ?'' 

Isabelle faintly inclined her head in answer 
to this question. 

" Isabelle I" exclaimed De Montfort, in much 
agitation ; " I ask but for five minutes conver- 
sation — you shall then be free to choose. No ! 
you cannot refuse me this last request.'* 

" It is impossible — it would be profanation 

o 3 


for sister Agnes to listen to you — she is more 
than half professed already," retorted the en- 
raged abbess — " the ceremony must proceed." 

De Montfort threw an imploring glance at 
the cardinal. 

" My daughter," said the cardinal, in a low 
voice, to the excited abbess, "we had better 
consent to the solicitation of the Baron de 
Montfort" — then in a louder tone, taking out his 
watch he said, with much solemnity : " We 
allow sister Agnes five minutes to decide — we 
rely on her piety and true vocation, and are 
satisfied that no persuasions of the Baron de 
Montfort can now induce her to retract.'^ 

,The cardinal motioned those around him to 
retire into the church, and Isabelle and De 
Montfort were alone. They were both silent 
for an instant, Isabelle, like one who on the 
point of falling into a gentle slumber, lulled by 
soft sounds and fair visions, is on a sudden 
rudely torn from the Elysium into which she 
was about to sink, still looked startled and be- 


wildered;— the agony she had endured, on that 
last evening in which she had seen De Mont- 
fort, flashed full upon her recollection, and she 
felt, should she again have to undergo such 
torture, she could not outlive it — yet she did 
not withdraw from him, the passive hand which 
he had taken in his, while De Montfort intui- 
tively reading her thoughts, saw that the hap- 
piness of his life was set upon a single cast. 

" Isabelle !" said he, in a faltering voice, and 
taking the packet from his bosom with an un- 
steady hand — " this letter with the miniature, 
which, had I received it, would have explained 
every thing, and brought me to your feet, by 
the treachery of Fran9ois, was basely suppressed, 
and it was only a few weeks ago, on his death, 
that it accidentally fell into my hands — yes, 
Isabelle, had I received it when you sent it to 


me, we should be both now united and happy 
in the old Chateau de Beaumont ; — speak dear- 
est, best beloved I" and he clasped her hand in 
both of his, and pressed it to his heart. " Speak 


Isabelle, will you kill your husband by a perse- 
verance in thus assuming the veil ?" 

" De Montfort !" said Isabelle, and a shower 
of tears fell from her before tearless eyes. 

De Montfort saw he had prevailed, but there 
was no time to speak, for at this moment the 
cardinal appeared within the door-way, and 
perceiving at a glance, that Isabelle had been 
won over, quickly approached. 

" My daughter," said he, looking at Isabelle, 
compassionately, '* I see it is as I feared it 
would be.'' 

" Forgive me, father," she replied deprecat- 
ingly, " if t submit myself to the wishes of my 

" You must then leave the convent imme- 
diately,'* returned the cardinal, " for the abbess, 
the bishop, the priests, will be all in arms 
against you, you must depart by yon private 
passage on the instant." 

The cardinal paused, and, looking round, saw 
the black garments of a nun, as she stood close 


to the door which he had left a Httle ajar — he 
caught her eye and beckoned her to approach. 
It was the kind hearted sister Marie. 

" Conduct the Baron and Baroness de Mont- 
fort," said the cardinal, addressing her, '' with 
all speed through the passages which lead 
from this cell into the convent court — my 
equipage waits for me there — give this ring to 
the coachman as a token," and as he spoke, he 
took a massive gold ring from his finger, '^ and 
tell him it is my command that he should con- 
vey the Baron and Baroness de Montfort, with- 
out delay, to the town of Lourdes," then turning 
to Isabelle, he continued : 

" My daughter, your resolution is a rash one, 
but go in peace, I pray God you may not repent 

Hardly giving De Montfort and Isabelle time 
to utter a word of thanks, the cardinal now 
hurried them through the door, which he shut 
and locked after them, and returning into the 
church, ordered the second mass to proceed, 


informing the astonished abbess, that when this 
was concluded he would explain every thing to 

A wintry sun was beginning to struggle 
through the clouds which still hung upon the 
horizon, when De Montfort and Isabelle fol- 
lowed sister Marie into the passage, and a few 
faint rays peering through the narrow windows, 
which even in a bright summer's day, afforded 
but a scanty light, just served to shew them 
the figure of the nun flitting rapidly before 
them. Isabelle did not speak, but she clung to 
De Montfort convulsively, as if she feared to 
be torn from his grasp, while he tried, by a 
whispered word or two, to soothe her agitation 
as he supported or rather carried her along the 
narrow passages. 

At length, the nun paused to open the door, 
which would admit them into the court, and 
De Montfort took this opportunity to remove 
the capacious horseman's cloak which he wore, 
and enveloping Isabelle in it, contrived to screen 


her disordered hair, and nun-like habit from 
all observation. 

They were now in the court of the convent. 
The cardinal's carriage was in waiting — De 
Montfort placed Isabelle in it, and springing 
after her himself, the coachman, true to the 
orders which sister Marie had just imparted to 
hira, lost no time in pursuing the road to the 
town of Lourdes. ■ 

Soon, the morning assumed a brighter aspect 
— the sun burst forth more cheerily — the road 
wound along the banks of the romantic Gave, 
and though no smiling verdure now decorated 
its banks, yet the trees which bent over its 
mirror-like waters, sparkled with congealed 
crystal drops, like shrubs of fairy-land hung 
with diamonds and pearls. 

The mountain summits displaying the most 
varied and picturesque forms, were clearly de- 
fined against the azure of the heavens. The 
ancient abbey of St. Savin, and the Chateau 
de Beaucens, were full in sight, and many a 


strong tower, looking down from the pinnacle 
of some steep rock, formed a security to those 
beautiful valleys against the incursions of the 
wild inhabitants who dwelt in the fastnesses of 
the Spanish Pyrenees. But our travellers saw 
little of all these surrounding objects — De 
Montfort's eyes were fixed upon his timid 
trembling Isabelle, who, like the startled 
cushat dove, could as yet scarcely believe 

herself in safety, and but it is now^ 

time we should come to a conclusion. 



^he bells in the village of - 
--r pea, on the da' that th^ T' ""' ' 
Baroness deMontrortt 0^1:"^^°"^"'^ 
^-^-'^ Chateau deBealoL^^"^"^^ 

e ,,es, and the tables i„ .,. 



ancient baronial hall groaned, again and again, 
with the weight of the feast that was spread 
upon them. 

Joy seemed to fill up the furrows on the 
faces of the old servitors, and although it was 
winter, Pierrot the gardener managed to have 
a bouquet of fresh flowers to present to his 
beloved mistress. 

The Count de Beaumont, gratified at last in 
the dearest wish of his heart, appeared there^ 
and Madame d'Anglures, with Josephine and 
Henri Desguey, now betrothed lovers, came over 
to join the Christmas party, while the Marquis 
de Cressy, with his gay little Eulalie, promised 
to take a peep at them in the spring. 

As to Pierre Delamare, we have been able to 
find out very little concerning him after he took 
priest's orders. That he never rose to be a 
dignitary in the^ church, is evident, his name 
not being found in any record of those days, 
and as his godfather, the archbishop, died soon 
after his entrance into the church, it is strongly 


suspected that he fell into the obscurity he 

Tradition is not so silent about the Mar- 
chioness de Varville, who, we are told, lived to 
be old, ugly, and neglected ; and this, after 
all, is, perhaps, the greatest punishment that 
can befal a woman of her disposition.